The third national lockdown could be ‘the final nail in the coffin’ for some pubs across Nottinghamshire.
That’s the view of Nottingham’s Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) chairman Steve Westby, who believes the latest lockdown could be a particularly bad blow for pubs across the region.
Discussing the restrictions imposed on pubs in the current lockdown, Steve said: “The whole thing is a disaster but from the start of this pandemic it’s been an absolute disaster for pubs.
“As you know before the pandemic the country was losing pubs anyway and since then it’s been impossible for them.
“There’s been very little support from the government, they’ve had some but it’s by no means enough.”
Steve believes that the ban on collecting take-away alcoholic drinks will make this lockdown much harder for pubs.
He said: “They can’t do takeaways which just isn’t logical and we’re still struggling to understand.
“People can go into a supermarket and buy as much alcohol as they want but with no restrictions yet they can’t go to a pub and get a takeaway.
“Takeaways had been providing pubs with some income and we can just see no logic for this restriction at all.
“To add to it those pubs who have been doing takeaways would have had casks of beer in, now they can’t sell it so they’ll have to throw it down the drain.
“That’s just adding insult to injury.”
He added: “Whenever we come out of this, my fear is that we’ll have even fewer pubs than we had before and I just can’t see the industry recovering to be honest.
“You fear for the chains as well as the independents because the larger chains will close pubs to cut costs.
“As for the independents there’s no doubt they’re going to struggle and they will run out of money it’s as simple as that.
“I think it’s inevitable that this lockdown will be the final nail in the coffin for pubs across Nottinghamshire.
“This is a complete disaster for the community and I do worry about the metal well-being of those who depend on the pubs as a social hub.”
Nottinghamshire landlord Richard Darrington fears that if his pub cannot open by July it could mean the end for his business.
Richard owns Byron’s Rest, a micro pub in Hucknall, which began trading in 2017.
The venue was voted the seventh best pub in Nottinghamshire by the Good Pub Guide in 2020 but hasn’t welcomed customers through its doors since July 4.
Richard said: “I’ve been volunteering for much of the lockdown and I’ve found it’s helped with my mental stability.
“I’ve been working 24 hours a week in the Covid centre in Ashfield so that’s helped me keep my mental stability.
“There’s nothing left for me to do at the pub and I find the more you think about it the more you stagnate and puts you into a depression.
“I really don’t know what the future holds for us.
“All my staff are furloughed and they are obviously worried for the future but there’s only so much I can say to them to reassure them that we will still be here by the end of it.
“That’s my aim to be here by the end of it so much so I’m looking at a couple part-time positions just to help us through it.
“I think we could survive until the Summer and if we’re not open by July we’ll have to seriously look at our future.”
The Government is set to announce its plan to take the country out of lockdown in the week commencing Monday 22 February.
This will be based on progress in vaccinating the most vulnerable groups in society by mid-February and then giving the jab time to take effect.
By Elliot Ball