West Bay residents' anger at Tier 2 restrictions despite no coronavirus cases

There have been no reported cases of Covid-19 in West Bay throughout the pandemic but it has still been placed in Tier 2. Credit: ITV West Country

Business owners in a seaside resort in Dorset say they are frustrated at being placed in Tier 2 when they've had no reported cases of coronavirus throughout the pandemic. 

Under the latest Government restrictions, which came into force on 2 December, West Bay is in the same tier as East Dorset.

It means pubs and bars must close unless they operate as a restaurant and venues must stop taking orders at 10pm.

Now traders want a review of the rules, which they say could save Christmas.

Staff at the Watch House Cafe in West Bay are having to cope with Tier 2 restrictions, even though the area hasn't had any cases. Credit: ITV West Country

Staff at the Watch House Cafe have been vigilant throughout but say they are frustrated that customers will be limited to single households only.

Cafe manager Jake Neal told ITV News West Country: "It's a bit weird because it's all the surrounding counties that are high still so it put us back into high as well.

"We've just got to deal with it and get out the other side".

There was surprise and shock in the community when they came out of the second lockdown to find themselves lumped in the same bracket as places like Bournemouth and Christchurch, further down the coast.

Local businesses will be playing by the rules and are determined to give people a warm welcome in the run up to Christmas.

Workers at the Rise cafe bar were expecting to be placed in Tier 1 and are having to adjust. Credit: ITV West Country

At the Rise cafe bar, restaurant bookings are being revised to ensure friends from different homes do not meet up for a meal.

The owner, Richard Cooper, said: "All of us said there is no way we are going to come out in Tier 2 so we prepped for Tier 1.

"Over the summer I think we served around 60,000 people and we only had one phone call from Track and Trace. Now I know it wasn't working properly but we were very surprised by that."

Traders at the Emporium had to resort to selling their products online and fear they have missed out on sales. Credit: ITV West Country

The largest business in West Bay is an emporium of 100 traders. The fear is that visitors will not return in large enough numbers under Tier 2 to keep them going.

One of the traders, Frank Johnson, said "I couldn't sell anything from here so I've had to revert to online, which was okay but we lost out across some of the busiest times of the year".

The owner of the emporium believes parts of West Dorset should not be in the same Tier as the east of the county.

Beverley Beavis commented: "I think they should review it and put us to a 1. Across the country there's only 1% in a 1 - it's just a ridiculous amount."

Hopefully on 16 December, when they review it, we might go down to Tier 1. Without that, I think our Christmas is over.

Richard Cooper, Restaurant owner
West Bay is famous for its 'Broadchurch' cliff - but will it draw in enough crowds this Christmas? Credit: ITV West Country

West Bay and its cliffs have been made famous by ITV's Broadchurch drama.

The concern is that businesses could face their own financial cliff edge if Tier 2 remains in place for too long.