'Planning blind' - Euros and music events left hanging over June 21

A crowd at a concert - inset Ciaran Moriarty

Ciaran Moriarty (inset) is one of many people in the hospitality and venue supply chain which stand to be impacted by a change to the June 21 easing - Credit: Ciaran Moriarty/Daniel Smith

Bars and pubs are still in the dark as to whether they'll be packed for the Euros this summer, or still operating at a socially-distanced capacity. 

Question marks are hanging over the next easing of lockdown measures on June 21 - with Matt Hancock saying government is "absolutely open" to pushing the deadline back. 

But with the Euros around the corner and events planned in the diary, bosses are at a loss as to what they should plan for, and when. 

Isabel Blythe is the general manager at the Coach and Horses in Thorpe Road, which is often packed for sporting events thanks to its many screens, as well as an outdoor gazebo. 

The Coach and Horses on Thorpe Road. Picture: GoogleMaps

The Coach and Horses on Thorpe Road. Picture: GoogleMaps - Credit: GoogleMaps

She said: "We have planned as though we can reopen fully on June 21 but we're well aware that could change - we definitely aren't taking down our social distancing signs, hand sanitising stations, and we'll still be asking people to behave sensibly. 

Norwich City fans watching the derby in the Coach and Horses. Picture: Ian Burt

Happier times: The Coach and Horses has always been a favourite with sports fans. - Credit: Archant


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"Any delay to a full reopening has an impact on our business - but it's impossible to say how much because there's nothing to compare it to.

"We've ordered in more stock because we think people will want to be in the pub to watch the football - but if restrictions are fully eased I suspect we'll need to get even more in.

Norwich City fans watching the derby in the Coach and Horses. Picture: Ian Burt

Norwich City fans watching the derby in the Coach and Horses before the pandemic. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

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"We've got used to being flexible, we just get on with it when we know what we're doing but it does feel like we're planning blind." 

Norwich City fans watching the derby in the Coach and Horses celebrate at the final whistle. Picture

Football fans have always flocked to the Coach and Horses in Thorpe Road. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

Ciaran Moriarty, who runs live event production company Audio East, added that he had forked out between £5,000 and £6,000 to be ready for festival season - but that may not have been necessary. 

He said: "There's this assumption that everything is back to normal - that everyone's back at work and that places are open.

"I think people who are in the supply chain for music touring events will be okay because that tends to be later in the year, but it's the summer events like the festivals which stand to lose. 

"These events have spent potentially thousands and thousands of pounds to get ready - and only in the past five days have we heard this might change. It could put some people out of business."

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