Pub loses £40k from Covid closures during Euro 2020

The Bell in Hemsby

Trevor and Tiffany Holland, landlords at the Bell in Hemsby, which closed for more than a week after staff tested positive for coronavirus. - Credit: Submitted

A landlord has said he lost £40,000 after having to close his pub during the final stages of Euro 2020 when staff tested positive for Covid. 

The Bell, in Hemsby, reopened on Friday (July 16) after shutting its doors for 11 days due to isolating employees. 

Trevor Holland, landlord, said: “We took the responsibility in closing the pub, trying to do the best for the village. 

“But it was a terrible decision to have to make."

The Bell in Hemsby

The Bell in Hemsby closed for eleven days after staff tested positive for coronavirus. - Credit: Google Maps

The pub had been busy during the Euros and was booked out for the semi-finals and final. Mr Holland had also booked a band for Saturday, July 10, and a singer for the following Sunday lunchtime. 

I'm over £40,000 down for those days. There's no way of getting it back and now you find yourself in a chasing hole. 

“We were heavily devastated that we had had to take the steps but I believe that was the best for the community and village for us all to stay safe.” 

Mr Holland said that although legal enforcement of restrictions was dropped on Monday, July 19, the pub would still ask customers to use table service.  

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He said: “As an experienced landlord I think this is a very awkward chapter. The safety of staff has to come first. 

“But after losing so much money you don’t want to turn away a client who wants to sit at the bar.” 

He said he felt “backed into a corner. 

Adapting to the changes, balancing the safety of staff – he employs 13 people - with the demands of the business was “just a nightmare,” he added. 

He said that many of the restrictions would be kept in place as coronavirus was "rife" in the village. 

In the seven days up to July 15, the rate of infection in Great Yarmouth was 459 per 100,000 people, higher than the national average, with a large number of the cases coming from parishes including Hemsby.

Some of those cases were traced back to people gathering the watch Euro 2020 matches.

Mr Holland said: "Table service will be encouraged. We're not encouraging bar service at all. We're not putting bar stools back," he said. 

Staff will also continue to wear face masks. 

Mr Holland and his wife Tiffany bought the pub in 2018 before refurbishing the entire venue. 

In the first lockdown they built a music room for the beer garden and during the second lockdown put down 300 square metres of paving. 

Mr Holland said: “We have got great customers, they are very supportive of us.” 

Area in Norfolk - Cases in the seven days up to July 14

Gorleston South and Beach - 62

Bradwell North - 54

Bradwell South and Hopton - 50

University and Avenues - 48

Gorleston North - 45

Upwell, Delph and Emneth - 42

City Centre West - 40

Costessey and Queens Hills - 38

City Centre East - 36

Yarmouth Parade - 36

Attleborough - 36

Wootton - 35

Trowse, Poringland and Stoke Holy Cross - 33

Gorleston West - 32

Hemsby and Ormesby - 31