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Maidenhead pubs brace themselves for 'disaster' tier 2

Pubs in Maidenhead are preparing to suffer further losses as the threat of moving into tier 2 looms larger.

Mark Newcombe, chairman of the managing committee of the Craufurd Arms in Gringer Hill, has slammed the potential restrictions, which would prevent people from different households meeting at pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues.

A decision is yet to be made on whether the Royal Borough will face tighter coronavirus restrictions – but talks with the Government continue on a ‘daily basis’.

Mr Newcombe warned that a move to tier 2 would result in ‘a lot of people in the dole queue’.

He said: “Tier 2 is a disaster, it just puts more restrictions on us, it will reduce our sales and there’s no financial help.

“A lot of landlords I’ve spoken to would rather be in tier 3 so they can shut up shop and get some help from the Government.

“The 10pm curfew is an absolute joke. It doesn’t seem to make any sense, I don’t know why it's the hospitality industry getting hit by this, especially the small community pubs.

“There’s going to be a lot of people in the dole queue.

“They have to find a way of getting out financial support, I know it’s very tough, we are running out of money as a country, but we can’t afford to have so many people unemployed. Once a pub gives up its difficult to get it back.”

Meanwhile, Jenny Baish and Martin Hayes, the wife and husband who run The Barley Mow in Cox Green, have written an open letter to the Prime Minister warning of the impact of moving into the next tiers.

It said: “Never have I been more scared for the future of my business that we have spent 11 years building up.

“I heard from some of our customers that Windsor and Maidenhead are requesting to go into tier 2 – now feeling angry and sick.

“Christmas is not looking good, these are scary times for the pub industry.

“We have done everything asked of us, test and trace, worn masks six to seven hours a day, tackling customers who just want to nip to the loo without a mask, sanitise our hands till they are red raw.

“We have done everything you asked for, yet still we are the only industry that has to close should we reach tier 3.”

When announcing the new three-tier system in parliament last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it would ‘avoid the misery of a national lockdown.’

He said: “I rule out nothing of course in combating the virus, but we are going to do it with the local, the regional approach that will drive down the virus, if it is properly implemented."

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