Residents and business owners across England have been left furious by the new layered coronavirus restrictions announced by the UK government.
Only the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are subject to the lowest Tier 1 set of restrictions, with people in all other parts of England facing more severe restrictions on their freedom from December 2. About 23 million people are under the most restrictive Tier 3 measures.
Health Minister Matt Hancock said, “These are not easy decisions, but they have been made according to the best clinical advice.”
But communities across the country are wondering how the levels were determined and whether the impact on businesses and everyday life has been fully considered.
The run-up to Christmas is normally the most lucrative time of the year for pubs, bars and restaurants, but Tier 3 restrictions in many areas mean that venues will now remain closed and only take-out food is offered.
A pub owner in Nottinghamshire said the Tier 3 designation will be “disastrous” for the industry.
Mark Osbourne, who runs The Radcliffe, in Radcliffe-on-Trent, and The Railway, in Lowdham, said: “We were hopeful to get to Tier 2 and even then the impact would still be difficult with the restrictions imposed. hard to get close to a normal December with no decent size tables and only mixed outside.
“Level 3 is disastrous for us and the entire industry. Takeaways just won’t make it in December.”
A Birmingham restaurateur has also condemned the government for “canceling Christmas for the hospitality industry” as the city is about to move from level 2 to level 3.
Jabbar Khan, CEO of the Lasan Group, owns four restaurants in the city. He said ministers had taken into account people during the festive period to spend time with loved ones, but that the government was the families of every “struggling bar, cafe and restaurant owners brought to their knees by the announcement.” forget.
Greater Manchester is also on the list of places that meet Tier 3 restrictions.
The news was received with dismay, after many hoped that the area’s rapidly declining infection rates would put them in Tier 2.
Respond to the newsManchester’s Hotel Football sales director told MEN: “Right now my heart is breaking for our industry. Collectively, we’ve spent thousands implementing Covid’s safe measures, only to be haunted by this being lost at this point.
“To declare that our sites cannot open in what would be our busiest time, and a lifeline for a difficult year, is a disaster, not only for ourselves, but also for our wider supply chain and network.
“All of this is without the thought of our people, and the mental torment of things to come.”
Meanwhile, the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) told the BBC that the level three designation would be “devastating news” to many.
“The government must compensate these companies for the period they have been closed and for the loss of business due to restrictions during the festive period,” said Michael Kill, NTIA CEO.
Fueling frustration with the new restrictions, Liverpool, which was in Level 3 before lockdown, is now moving to Level 2.
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said: “We got out of Tier 3 and into Tier 2. I think this is the right decision because we have shown that we have brought the virus under control.
“If you remember six or seven weeks ago, the virus was about 700 per 100,000.
“As we speak, it is probably around 140-145 per 100,000 and now that the armed forces are doing mass testing here, it also means that we have been able to get that virus under control.
“That was the goal here, the goal was to save lives and that’s undoubtedly what we did.”
The tier system will be revised on December 16, meaning that rules can be relaxed in each area before Christmas.
Reassuring the British at a press conference in Downing Street, Boris Johnson said that “every area has the means to escape” the toughest restrictions.