Salford pub owners are worried that their most financially lucrative time of the year, will once again be damaged by the government’s response to the new variant of Covid-19.
On Wednesday December 8, Boris Johnson announced the Plan B Covid-19 restrictions across England. The measures included face masks becoming compulsory in most public indoor venues, other than hospitality. The guidelines on mask-wearing came into effect on the 10th December. NHS Covid passes on the NHS app will become mandatory for entry into nightclubs and settings with 4,000 or more attendees and any event with 10,000 or more attendees. People are also being asked to work from home.
Tim Flynn, landlord and owner of the New Oxford pub in Salford, was worried that the Plan B restrictions would impact New Year’s Eve celebrations because of the severity of the new variant.
He said: “Bookings are already down 50 per cent.”
With two weeks until the New Year and with Omicron cases rising further measures are likely to follow, which could exacerbate the problem. Mr Flynn said: “if New Year goes ahead at all we will be very, very lucky.” He went on to say he expects his business to decrease by 50 or 60 per cent.
Safety measures include bringing in one-way systems, sanitising, even vaccine passports are being considered.
He said: “I would have no problem with it. It would increase people’s confidence to go to the pub.”
Jace White, who works at the Prince of Wales pub in Salford, said: “New Year is by far the best day for profit in here. Without a doubt, all year round.
“If Covid restrictions stopped everyday people from coming in then yeah we will suffer financially definitely.”