Landlord's concerns about effects another lockdown will have on pubs

'As a landlord, another lockdown is the last thing that you want to hear to be honest'.

Neil Taylor, landlord of The Fox at Shipley
Neil Taylor, landlord of The Fox at Shipley

Neil Taylor is one of many pub landlords in the region concerned about the effects another lockdown would have on his pub, The Fox at Shipley, near Wolverhampton.

The talk of a lockdown in England follows news that pubs in five health board areas in Scotland are due to close for two weeks, with others facing reduced hours and bans on serving alcohol indoors.

Mr Taylor, who has run The Fox at Shipley for 14 years, said the uncertainty was making it difficult to run his business.

The 50-year-old said: "We never imagined in March that we would be shut down for as long as we were, nor that we would have as many restrictions placed on us.

"It's just really tough and the curfew has really hit people's confidence, so if we're going to be shut down again, we're going to lose more money."

Mr Taylor said he was trying to find positives in what is a difficult time for his whole industry, but said he felt it was being unfairly targeted.

He said: "I do feel that we've been treated unfairly as there's no evidence in black and white that people coming into pubs and restaurants are creating a breeding ground for positive cases.

"There's also been a lack of continuity from the government as they first said 'Eat Out to Help Out', then suddenly changed direction and pulled the plug, so Joe Public doesn't know what to think.

"To me, they must have an idea of where the spikes in cases are coming from, so they should deal with those and let the rest of the world try to get back to some normality with their businesses.

"Otherwise, there'll be no coming back from it as it's getting to the point where everyone's going over the edge of the cliff and it's hard to see if they'll come back."

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