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A LOCAL landlord has criticised the government’s 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants, which he says is ‘severely impacting’ his income.
Landlord of the Somerset Arms in Semington, John Adams, says that he is ‘frustrated’ by the new rules, which also only allow table service, and has labelled them ‘unnecessary’ in village and small town pubs and restaurants.
“We already had the perfect system,” said John speaking to Melksham News. “We had the bar clear of customers, and a clear socially distanced system for ordering at the bar, as well as a one-way system around the pub. Now the place is empty – people that would come for a drink at 8.30pm are not, as they know that they will be kicked out at 10pm.
“The new rules have achieved nothing in terms of social distancing and containment of the virus – which I am all for – but we already had the perfect set-up and it was working well.
“We are a small country pub – I see no reason why we can’t stay open late and still follow social distancing rules.”
The landlord has described the curfew and new rules as a “kick in the teeth” from the government, which follows unprecedented support through the furlough scheme and the recent ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme, which offered diners a 50% discount.
“Furlough was brilliant,” said John. “Eat Out to Help Out was brilliant, but the revenue boost we had from that is being lost and we are losing customers hand over fist – it is barely feasible. I have had to bring in an extra member of staff to help cover table service.
“The new rules are time consuming for us and the customer. And now at 10pm we might have three tables of six all beautifully spread out around the pub, but I have to be the nasty person to tell them all to go home, and for no good reason.
“They’re all happily socially distanced, we’re bringing the drinks to the table – but no, you have all got to go home now. Customers are skipping on desserts, coffees, and that last glass of wine because of the curfew. I can understand these rules in larger places like London or Bath, but we are suffering.”