15 October 2020 22:33
Sign up to receive two FREE daily bulletin e-mails, as well as breaking news as it happens Subscribe Thank you for subscribing We have more newsletters Show me See our privacy notice Invalid Email People in the Erewash towns of Long Eaton, Ilkeston and Sandiacre are worried about the potentially devastating impact that Tier 2 Covid-19 restrictions could have on their livelihoods. Shop owners and landlords in the borough say they have concerns about the future of their businesses after the Government announced additional restrictions will be put in place. Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the move in the House of Commons on Thursday, October 15, saying "things will get worse before they get better". From Saturday, October 17, people in towns including Ilkeston, Long Eaton and Sandiacre will no longer be able to mix indoors with people from other households or outside their support bubbles. This includes indoor venues such as pubs and restaurants, something that has left one landlord worried for the future of his business.
Allan Hillary, landlord of the Blue Bell pub in Sandiacre, said: "I reckon it could be the end of the business. "We are a small pub and with the original restrictions we can only fit about 30 people in the pub. "Since the wearing of the masks became compulsory people have stopped going out. We've been closing at 8pm, even 6pm. "I've got to be honest, we are seriously considering closing it down and ending our tenancy.
"If we leave it any longer we are going to get further in debt. We've already had two or three customers asking if we will be able to sit them together with the new restrictions – we are going to have to look and see." And he said he feared a new national lockdown, like that seen earlier this year, is on the way. "Personally I think all the pubs could be closed down in two weeks." He added that despite the impact it will have on his business, he thought the Government was doing the right thing. "From a financial perspective they should give us support, but from a UK perspective, can they afford to do any more?" he said. "We have to get rid of this virus one way or another. Whether this will help or not remains to be seen, but they've got to try something. "I think it should be a national lockdown, a circuit breaker." (Image: Google Street View) Laura McLean, co-owner of Harpur and Finch tea rooms and gift shop in Ilkeston, said she is upset to be worrying about the future of her business again. "Obviously we are worried - we are new business owners, we only bought the business in December," she said. "It's a scary time for everybody and it's going to be massively difficult. "It's been a worry, especially when Nottinghamshire got put in Tier 2 as it's really close to us." She is unhappy at what she sees as a lack of support from the Government for businesses in Tier 2 areas. "The government aren't giving us any financial support, they've shot us in the foot completely," she said. "It's just not feasible for us. "We've got a lot of elderly customers who come in and they feel safe here. That might not happen if they can only see people in their support bubble. "It's going to affect a lot of people's mental health. It's just devastating." Tristian Brown, who runs Long Eaton Cycles, said he backed the move. "It's a fine balance between keeping us going financially and losing lives," he said. "We cannot go all the way in one direction to the point where everyone's destroyed financially either. "If we had a proper lockdown things might have been different. "Localised lockdowns to me seem sensible. I think doing the whole borough is the right thing." Councillor Carol Hart, leader of Erewash Borough Council, said that although everyone may not agree, the move to put Erewash to "high" level has to be the right thing to do following a sharp rise in positives cases of coronavirus. She said: "No-one wants to do this but taking this action now may mean that when the situation is reviewed in four weeks' time, then it could have improved. "In my role as vice chair of the engagement board overseeing this crisis at county level, I took part in a number of meetings earlier in the week and so it was obviously on the way. "It will be an opportunity to raise awareness of the situation for people in Erewash and to urge them to follow the guidelines." She added that the decision would lead to "short-term pain for long-term gain". "I think that as people have started to try to get back to normal life, they have tended to relax on some of the rules such as washing hands, wearing face coverings and observing social distancing," Cllr Hart said. "We need to reverse the numbers and stop them going in an upward direction and we need to work together to keep each other safe." Maggie Throup, the MP for Erewash, issued a statement following Mr Hancock's announcement. "I want to assure residents that this is not a return to the full lockdown and the Government is committed to ensuring that schools and colleges stay open, as well as businesses that are operating in a Covid-secure way," she said. Want the best Nottingham news by 9am every day? Subscribe Thank you for subscribing We have more newsletters Show me See our privacy notice Invalid Email Pub bosses in Long Eaton fear 'trade will fall even more' when new tier 2 coronavirus restrictions come into effect across Erewash at the weekend. The new measures begin on Saturday (October 17), bringing the borough in line with Nottinghamshire where the tighter rules already apply. People will no longer be able to meet with anybody outside of their household or support bubble indoors, whether at home or in a public place. A group of no more than six people can socialise outside, including in a garden or other spaces like beaches or parks - other than where specific exemptions apply in law. Simon English, the licensee of the Tappers Harker, a "community-led pub" in Main Street, Long Eaton, said business had already taken a hit and he fears "trade will fall even more". "It's dropped massively by about 50 percent," he said. "A lot of my lunch trade is a lot of older people. They have just stopped coming out." Currently, pubs in Erewash can let inside groups of six from various households - but this will all change. "It becomes a little bit more difficult, especially if you know they're not from the same household," said Mr English. I do not want to see confrontation with people, [saying] 'are you with that family?' "Do you start ID'ing? I don't know. Explaining what he thinks might happen on Friday, October 16, the last night before lockdown, Mr English said: "I think they'll either all come down the pub because it's the last day or they'll all go to a supermarket and have beers and have parties at home. Or a bit of both, possibly." Mr English said he hadn't noticed any issue in people crossing the border from Nottinghamshire to drink in the town. Amy Ainsworth, team leader of the Harrington Arms, in Tamworth Road, also said the new restrictions could have a negative impact on trade. Get our top stories sent to you every day Want us to send you a daily round-up of our biggest stories, and breaking news alerts, direct to your email inbox? Sign up to our newsletter here. "We used to be quite busy at lunch time, dinner time - we'd be basically nearly full. Now it's just empty practically," she said. "It probably will have a negative affect on the business." Conservative MP for Erewash, Maggie Throup, said: "Please note that the regulations continue to apply to a person even if they subsequently travel outside of the area where they live. "For example, should a person living in an area classified as 'high', travel to an area classified as 'medium', they should continue to abide by the 'high' regulations. "I want to assure residents that this is not a return to the full lockdown and the Government is committed to ensuring that schools and colleges stay open, as well as businesses that are operating in a Covid-secure way. "I know that these restrictions are onerous, but, as we approach the winter months, it is vital that we all remember the basics of washing our hands, covering our faces, observe social distancing and follow the rules, so that together we can control the virus and protect each other." Across the Derbyshire border, pubs and cafes in Nottingham city centre explained how they coped on the first day of the new coronavirus lockdown restrictions on Wednesday (October 14). Staff at a pub in Eastwood, meanwhile, also outlined the changes they've made to adhere to the rules. For live coronavirus updates, click here.