Landlords relieved as Norfolk pubs face no further restrictions

Nick Attfielf (inset) was relieved that Adnams pubs across East Anglia face no further restrictions

Nick Attfielf (inset) was relieved that Adnams pubs across East Anglia face no further restrictions than those currently in place. Picture: Adnams/Getty - Credit: Adnams/Getty

Norfolk has been given the green light to keep its pubs, cafes and bars open until 10pm – allaying fears that the county would be plunged into a tighter lockdown.

The Prime Minister announced this afternoon that the vast majority of the country would remain under current conditions with exceptions like Merseyside facing further restrictions.

The news was welcomed by bosses who are already struggling to make ends meet under current restrictions.

Hayley Attwell is manager at the Coach and Horses in Norwich’s Thorpe Road, and said: “We are hugely relieved that no further restrictions have been brought in so as far as we’re concerned it’s business as usual.

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“We did have that fear in the back of our mind because of the news about case numbers going up and we were prepared for whatever they said. It is a massive relief though to know we can carry on staying open with social distancing in place of course.”

She was echoed by Nick Attfield, director of properties at Suffolk brewer and pub owner Adnams, which has pubs and shops across Norfolk including Norwich’s Rumsey Wells and the White Horse at Blakeney. He said: “I’m relieved that there’s nothing else that is affecting us so we can continue doing what we’ve always been doing in a safe and secure manner. “It remains the frustration of the industry that the 10pm curfew remains – but that’s a side argument at the moment really. “If we do go into closure we welcome the fact that there is government support from the job support scheme. “It provides a safety net and we’re grateful for anything that helps us to protect jobs and allows us to reopen as quickly as possible.”

Seena Shah of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) East of England, said: “Small businesses recognise that safety must come first. However, there’s no escaping the fact that this new system will mean huge disruption for small firms, many of which have borne the brunt of restrictions over the last six months. Businesses that have spent thousands on safety measures for their premises, and made every effort to follow existing guidelines, could now be told to close. Any further restrictions placed on them should be evidence-led – transparency is a must.”