Cotswold pubs ‘will survive’ 10pm curfew but ‘where is evidence?’

PUBS in the Cotwolds are hopeful that they will survive, despite having to close at 10pm, but say it’s ‘not ideal.’

Claire Alexander who owns the Ebrington Arms, near Chipping Campden said: “It’s not ideal because it means we have to do fewer tables, it’s definitely decreased trade on that front. But luckily we are still busy because we are in the Cotswolds and in the countryside and we are managing all the rules and guidelines carefully. We are still doing decent trade.”

The government introduced the rule last month, enforcing all hospitality venues to close at 10pm to tackle coronavirus.

Mrs Alexander said: “The unfortunate side is that there is no evidence for the benefit of the 10pm curfew. I can see how it would work in the cities but the countryside, not so much.”

“We can survive it but it’s not ideal, it’s just another thing for us to have to deal with at an already difficult time.”

The Ebrington Arms as well as Mrs Alexander’s other pub Killingworth Castle were in the many Cotswold pubs not entitled to a government grant to help them during the lockdown.

Amy Townsend at The Mousetrap Inn, Bourton-on-the-Water said about the 10pm curfew: “It hasn’t affected us particularly, as we were closing pretty much at 10 anyway. I guess it’s more the city pubs.”

Pawel Sobiszek, manafer of The Howard Arms, Shipston-On-Stour said: “The impact on our sales is not as bad as Wetherspoons where the majority of sales come after 10pm. But when it comes to sales we have dropped perhaps 3 percent. But you make it up on letting staff go home earlier to see their families, so there are positives. Also when it comes to late night nuisance, I think closing earlier benefits some communities.”

“We have had to bring forward the restaurant closing times so we are losing some sales on the food because we are not taking any orders after 8.30pm.”

Mr Sobiszek thanked his customers for being ‘very respectful.’

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, MP for the Cotswolds said he would back the Government on the 10pm curfew due to increasing Covid cases.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard:

He told the the PA news agency: “I think we have got to recognise that the figures are climbing all the time.”

Sir Geoffrey said this justified the Government introducing “very serious measures”.

This came after news that a number of Tory MPs were planning to call for the prime minister to get rid of the curfew, and not include children in the group of six rule.

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