Popular Black Country pubs forced to close due to Covid cases ahead of New Year

A host of pubs across the Black Country have been forced to close during one of the busiest periods of the year.

The Great Western Pub in Wolverhampton is one of many popular venues forced to close due to Covid cases
The Great Western Pub in Wolverhampton is one of many popular venues forced to close due to Covid cases

Covid cases among staff members have left many pubs unable to remain open and meet the demand of the run up to the new year.

It comes after Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced there will be no further Covid restrictions introduced before the turn of the year.

People were however urged to be "cautious," to consider testing themselves beforehand and to celebrate outside.

Wolverhampton pubs The Royal Oak, The Great Western and The Rose and Crown have all announced temporary closures this week, all citing cases amongst staff as a contributing factor.

The Great Western said it hoped to be open again on New Year's Eve but The Royal Oak said it would be closed until the new year in the interests of safety.

The Summerhouse in Sedgley and the Hussey Arms in Brownhills have also taken the difficult decision to temporarily close during what is normally one of the busiest periods of the year.

The Hussey Arms, a Hungry Horse pub, said it would not be back open this week while The Summerhouse said it would be shut for at least 48 hours from Wednesday and would not reopen "until we are certain that there is no risk of infection for others.

Current restrictions require those who have tested positive to self-isolate for seven days, if two negative lateral flow test results are given on day six and seven.

It has been an extremely difficult period for the hospitality sector, with data showing pubs, bars and restaurants lost £10,335 on average in the week leading up to Christmas.

On Christmas Day takings were down 60 per cent compared with 2019, new figures from industry body UKHospitality found.

The average losses are above the maximum £6,000 cash grants offered to each affected venue by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of his £1 billion fund announced last week.

The latest figures have led to calls from the organisation for the Government to ensure more support is offered to the sector as it struggles to recover.

British Chambers of Commerce president Baroness McGregor-Smith warned that some businesses are losing more than £6,000 each day.

Lady McGregor-Smith urged the Government to extend the business rates relief and the emergency rate of VAT beyond the end of March, and to bring back a "focused" furlough support scheme.

Government figures showed there were a record 113,628 new Covid cases in England on Christmas Day, with 1,281 new Covid-19 hospital admissions - up 74 per cent week on week and the highest number since February 16.

As of 8am on December 27, there were 8,474 people were in hospital in England with Covid-19 - the highest number since March 5.

Most Read

Most Read

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News