Covid-19: New 10pm curfew could devastate Scarborough nightspots, says bar owner

New coronavirus restrictions could “devastate” some Scarborough nightspots.

Wednesday, 23rd September 2020, 3:17 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd September 2020, 3:18 pm

That’s the fear from the owner of two of the town’s bars after it was announced a 10pm curfew for a host of businesses which comes into force on Thursday.

The tough new measure will hit bars, pubs and restaurants, social clubs, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, fun fairs and bingo halls.

It is part of a series of new restrictions aimed at curbing the rise in coronavirus cases across the country.

Drinkers in London watch Boris Johnson's announcement this week.

Julian Rutherford, who owns Vibe Bar and Mist Bar and Lounge as well as the Hole in the Wall pub, said his bars could suffer because their trade does not get going until at least 10.30pm.

“Our concern is that people won’t come out,” he said. “Quite a lot of people have work and kids and can’t get out until after 7.30pm. Are they going to bother coming out for a couple of hours?

“We’re going to try opening earlier but there’s quite a lot of established day pubs and I’m going to struggle to get some of that trade.”

He also shared concerns about revellers reluctant to end their night outs at 10pm ending up on the beach, in parks and at house parties.

The new rules require licensed premises to provide table service only but Mr Rutherford pointed out that this will demand more staff - an extra financial pressure on already-struggling businesses.

And the Government has not announced any support for those for who opening will not be financially viable under these new measures.

“If people don’t got out now and support their pubs, the pubs may not be there for them to go back to,” he warned.

Landlord at The Courtyard Tony Snow acknowledged that late-night businesses will be hit harder but said a curfew was better than pubs having to close completely.

“If we’d had this in April, every pub would have been jumping for joy,” he said. “People need to look at it in that kind of light.”

This week’s restrictions also relate to face coverings, with taxi customers now required to wear them, along with hospitality and retail staff.

Carolyn Conlon, owner of Beeline Taxis, said: “I welcome everyone wearing them.

“If you don’t, just one involuntary cough or sneeze can send your germs splashing all over a driver.”

Meanwhile, two Scarborough hospitality businesses have had to shut this week because of coronavirus.

The New Tavern pub, on Falsgrave Road, announced on Monday that it was closing for a deep clean and while staff receive the results of tests after a customer tested positive for the disease.

Florios Ristorante, on Aberdeen Walk, announced it was closing on Saturday, also after a customer tested positive.

The restaurant was due to reopen today after receiving reassurance from the environmental health team at Scarborough Borough Council and conducting a deep clean.

The most recent Government figures available show there have been 690 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Scarborough borough since the start of the pandemic.