Leeds pubs and bars react as new Tier 3 rule means they can't open to customers

Leeds will enter Tier 3 when lockdown ends on December 2 which means pubs, bars and restaurants must remain closed.

Friday, 27th November 2020, 7:08 am
Bars in Leeds closing before lockdown (photo: Danny Lawson/ PA Wire)

Hospitality settings will only be permitted to continue sales by takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.

This means that when the lockdown ends there will be no change to the rules already in place for hospitality across Leeds.

Settings include those such as pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes.

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Bruce Lerman, co-owner of Hedonist Bar in Leeds, said: "I feel like the hospitality industry has been the sacrificial lamb for people having Christmas with their families.

"We can’t keep on pivoting like this if we want to keep businesses afloat."

The bar will remain completely closed whilst the restrictions are in place.

The Briggate bar co-owner added: "We did takeaway the first time round and the manpower to get that operational versus the return is limited.

"It is what it is I guess. The hospitality industry are in this together."

Alfies Burger Joint in Beeston will continue with a takeaway service as it has been doing since the first lockdown.

Co-owner, Raf Huque, said: "The restrictions are a fantastic thing for us as we can continue with just takeaway which is getting busier and busier for us.

"We are actually reducing our seating capacity and increasing our kitchen size to cater for more takeaways.

"Tier 3 bring it on."

Martin Greenhow, the managing director of Mojo bars, will be unable to open his Leeds bar.

He said: "The entire situation is horrific for hospitality.

"We've been locked down, allowed up for oxygen and slammed back down again.

"It's almost as if there's a desire to drive hospitality from the map."

Martin also has a bar in Harrogate which is allowed to open under Tier 2 restrictions but he is unsure whether it will be worth doing so.

He added: "It's the busiest month of the year and usually hospitality take nearly a third of their profit now but we've got a 60 per cent reduction in occupancy and a 50 per cent reduction in trading time."

The rules have been in place since the second national lockdown began on November 5.

Tier 3 is the highest alert level to be put in place across England and the whole of West Yorkshire will be under the strict ‘Very High’ restrictions.

Leeds City Council leader Judith Blake has commented on the decision: “The government has today (Nov 26) announced that Leeds will move into Tier 3 restrictions after the current lockdown ends. The new restrictions will come into force on December 2.

“Whilst local councils have not been involved in discussions around which tier they will move into, we have been working closely with our partners and communities in Leeds to ensure we are prepared for changes to restrictions and that support is in place that will minimise the impact on our residents and businesses as much as possible.

“I would also like to once again thank the people of Leeds for their patience, diligence and compassion over what has been an incredibly challenging time for the city.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel and if we continue to do all that we can to protect ourselves and each other, we can and will emerge from this crisis together.”

The next review of the tiers is due on December 16.

The system is similar to the one in place ahead of the lockdown that was imposed in early November, though the restrictions under each band have been toughened from the previous regime.

Indoor entertainment and hotels will also remain closed across Leeds and West Yorkshire.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the lockdown in England has “successfully turned the curve and begun to ease pressure on the NHS”.

He told the Commons: “Cases are down by 19% from a week ago and daily hospital admissions have fallen 7% in the last week.

“January and February are always difficult months for the NHS so it is vital we safeguard the gains we made.”

Greater Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Birmingham and Nottingham are amongst others also entering the strictest restrictions.

Other restrictions include:

- You must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble, this includes in any private garden or at most outdoor venues

- You must not socialise in a group of more than six in some other outdoor public spaces, including parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, a public garden, grounds of a heritage site or castle, or a sports facility – this is called the ‘rule of six’

Across all tiers:

- People can leave their homes for any purpose and can socialise in outdoor places, subject to the rule of six

- Collective worship and weddings can resume

- Shops and wider leisure facilities including gyms can reopen