Pubs and restaurants devastated by ‘crushing blow’ of new tier rules

Hospitality bosses have complained the sector has been ‘unfairly’ singled out with the toughest Covid restrictions under the new tier system.

In Tier 2 pubs and restaurants will only serve alcohol alongside meals and call last orders at 10pm with closing time at 11pm.

In Tier 3 they will completely close aside from takeaway and delivery.

MORE: Covid lockdown to end next week as tier system returns

Nick Mackenzie, chief executive of the Bury St Edmunds based brewer Greene King, said: “Yet again, the UK pubs sector must pick itself up off the floor after another crushing blow.

“We’ve invested millions of pounds to make our pubs safe throughout this pandemic but today it feels like pubs have been unfairly singled out once again with increased restrictions that will make pubs across the country unviable through the most important month of the year.”

Other industry bosses called the decision ‘devastating’ and ‘rotten’, saying the restrictions will ‘destroy’ the sector.

The boss of Revolution – a bar chain with a venue in Ipswich’s Cattle Market – Rob Pitcher, has called for more support from the government to protect businesses affected by the new restrictions.

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He said: “Now, Tier 2 is essentially the old Tier 3, while the new Tier 3 is basically just lockdown again.

“Hospitality has been singled out so I am looking forward to seeing Rishi Sunak come forward with a significant package of support to help our businesses.

“If he doesn’t there will be hundreds of perfectly viable businesses going bust.”

The British Beer & Pub Association claim Tier 2 restrictions alone will make 90% of pubs unviable and say they will only be able to operate at a loss.