Several London pubs to stay closed next week despite restrictions being lifted

  • london
  • June 26, 2020
  • Comments Off on Several London pubs to stay closed next week despite restrictions being lifted

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Several London pubs have turned down the Government’s call to reopen next week, citing safety concerns.

Pubs are allowed to welcome back drinkers next Saturday, with Boris Johnson telling Britons it’s their “patriotic duty” to visit their local boozer when doors reopen.

Pub chains like Wetherspoons and BrewDog have welcomed the announcement, with 750 Wetherspoons branches set to reopen on July 4.

But several independent pubs, including the Tollington Arms in Holloway and The Gunners on Blackstock Road, have expressed doubts about the safety of reopening.

The Tollington Arms (Ewen Munro/Wikimedia Commons)

The Tollington Arms said that it would not reopen because the Government was “ignoring” health advice.

The pub’s management said on Twitter: “It’s with a heavy heart that we must announce that we won’t be opening on the 4th of July under the Guidelines which the Government has released this week.

‘It’s our belief that the government are ignoring the advice that science is telling us.

“We cannot in good conscience open the pub when contracting a deadly virus is still possible under these Guidelines. By the government’s own admission, on average, 1 in 20 people has this virus.

“We care too much about our staff and our customers to risk rushing back, thus contributing to a second wave of this pandemic. We hope to open our doors in the near future when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, stay safe.”

Two other north London pubs managed by the same company as the Tollington Arms will also stay closed on July 4.

The Gunners pub on Blackstock Road (Ewan Munro/Flickr)

Meanwhile the manager of The Gunners has said that the pub will “probably not” reopen next Saturday.

Una McKernan told the Islington Tribune: “I am of the mentality of humanity over the economy. We are undecided if we will open, probably not. I would rather loyal patrons and friends were virus-free than potentially earn a quick Covid buck.

“And why should we do the Government’s tacking for them? They failed in coming up with a system so now they want pubs to do it for them?

“Pubs are public spaces, just like parks. If you are to legislate and track people’s movements in bars you should have done it in parks when people were buying cheap drinks from supermarkets and trashing the place. There has certainly been little to no social distancing going on in parks in lockdown.”