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SOS: Pubs unite to send out distress call as the 10pm curfew seeks to threaten their future

 Published on: 12th October 2020   |   By: Holly Bullen   |   Category: Uncategorized

Pubs across the country were up in the arms after the Government announcement of a 10pm curfew in pubs and restaurants after a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases.

Among those are pubs in St Albans who have be sending out ‘distress calls’ to try and force a change.

There are several pubs across St Albans who have been taking it in turns to switch their lights on and off at 10pm to recreate an SOS distress call.

This distress call is backed by Daisy Cooper MP who has spoken out against the curfew in parliament.

Paul Egerton, landlord of the Jolly Sailor, located on Stonecross, said that as a late-night venue at the weekend, the curfew has really affected them. 

He said: “It takes 60 per cent of my trade away and I now have to do table service and all the costs associated with that.

“I run an establishment where you want people to come and enjoy themselves and then suddenly, you’re on their case all the time, reminding them about masks and ordering their last drinks at half nine. It is not enjoyable for them and it is not enjoyable for us.”

Christo Tofalli, landlord of Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, said there is a lack of evidence to suggest that the hospitality industry is contributing to the rise in COVID cases and the industry now needs some support to stay on its feet.

He said: “Christmas is already pretty much written off. No one in the hospitality industry is making any money off it.

“They give us a sense of hope and then take the ability away from you. We need some big changes in the hospitality industry.”

Mark Powell, co-landlord of The Mermaid on Hatfield Road, said part of the issue comes with the table service only rule.

He said: “We had introduced a great system of having an outside service hatch which we have had now had to shut and everyone was really disappointed about that.

“It has doubled wage costs, and this combined with less revenue at the weekend is a double whammy.”

Mark added that Daisy Cooper MP has been nothing but supportive of the pubs in St Albans.

He said: “She has been really supportive, and I really can’t say a bad word about what she’s been doing.”

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