LIVERPOOL, England (Reuters) – The last pints could be pulled in pubs across northern England this week as furious bosses warn new coronavirus restrictions will wipe out their businesses which are already reeling from a national lockdown earlier this year.
With cases of COVID-19 surging and hospital admissions rocketing, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday unveiled a new three-tier lockdown local system to curb its spread, with pubs and bars closed down in “very high” alert areas.
Liverpool, birthplace of the Beatles and famed for its soccer team, the current Premier League champions, and its surrounding region will be the first to be placed into the highest alert tier, meaning its drinking establishments face closure from Wednesday.
Pub managers there reacted with disbelief and anger that their city and their businesses were being singled out.
“My biggest worry as a boss and a licensee is my business will have to close again and we may very well not come open next time because there’s no funds in the pot from last time,” said Francis Burleigh, landlady of The Beehive pub in Liverpool city centre.
The infection rate in northwest England has been soaring in recent weeks, and in Liverpool stands at just under 600 cases per 100,000 people. Health chiefs say action is vital now to prevent the hospitals being overrun and a rise in deaths.