Sam Robinson, owner of 1331, a bar off Grape Lane, has told YorkMix that he fears the city moving from Covid Tier 2 to Tier 3 more than another nationwide lockdown.
He says his business would have a better chance of surviving with the extra governent help a full lockdown would bring and that Tier 2 and 3 are very much no man’s land for him and his staff.
Next week West Yorkshire will moved into the next level of restrictions, Tier 3 and from this Saturday Hull and the East Riding will join York in Tier 2.
So far Tadcaster, Easingwold, Malton and Selby remain in Tier 1.
Sam told YorkMix that it’s been very hard getting to grips with the shifting restrictions and while they did have an uplift due to Eat Out to Help Out, since York moved into Tier 2 it’s been very challenging policing some of the new rules, especially those concerning mixing household at tables.
You must not socialise with anybody outside of your household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place in a Tier 2 (York) city.
He does have some areas of the bar that are classed as ‘outside’ where you must not socialise in a mixed group of more than six.
“We are getting new rules every week and we are doing our best to adapt” he adds.
“We do a quiz night once a week and the first half is inside and second half outside.”
Sam says he is worried about York moving to Tier 3, a possibility given that nearby West Yorkshire is being forced to do that.
It would raise a number of questions about staying open, he argues. Under Tier 3 pubs and bars must close unless they operate as a restaurant, which means serving substantial meals and they may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal. 1331 already offers sit down dining in one part of the building.
He says just doing that will be difficult and he’s not sure the business would be viable under those conditions so a full lockdown might be better as he and his staff could claim cash from the Government to tide them over.
“We would rather stay open to be fair, we want to keep operating, but we feel that a national lockdown for two weeks or a month would mean we could open again later with less restrictions.
With more restrictions it’s just going to make it impossible”