What Tier 2 means for Peterborough’s chain pubs

The College Arms in Broadway.The College Arms in Broadway.
The College Arms in Broadway.
Peterborough’s popular Wetherspoon pubs will open under Tier 2 restrictions next week - but only after a broadside from their chairman.

The chain has two pubs in the city centre - The College Arms and The Draper’s Arms - as well as The George in Whittlesey which will open after lockdown ends on December 2.

However, its disappointed CEO Tim Martin said: “The company has campaigned for pubs to revert to the rules agreed between the pub industry, civil servants, local authorities and health officials, which were introduced when pubs reopened in July.

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“These rules greatly reduced pub capacity and provided strict social distancing and hygiene standards but, with difficultly, allowed pubs to trade viably. It is very disappointing that yet another raft of regulations has been introduced, which has effectively closed half our pubs. In reality, the government has extended a form of lockdown, by stealth, in large swathes of the country.

Halcyon pubHalcyon pub
Halcyon pub

“There has been no evidence of widespread transmission of the Coronavirus in pubs, as the Test and Trace system has evidenced. As Councillor Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, recently said:

“The data we have shows that the infection rate has risen, mainly due to social interactions, particularly private household gatherings. In shops and hospitality venues there are strict measures in place to ensure they are COVID-safe, whereas it is much easier to inadvertently pass on the virus in someone’s house, where people are more relaxed and less vigilant”.

Peterborough is also home to a number of pubs run by Greene King, the country’s leading pub retailer, which has today described the Government’s post-lockdown tier system as “lockdown in all but name.”

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The city can count the Gordon Arms, Crab and Winkle, Woodman, Boathouse, Halcyon, Harrier, Mulberry Tree Farm and Coopers as Greene King locals for thousands of drinkers and diners, which can reopen under the Tier 2 restictions from December 2.

Greene King chief executive Nick Mackenzie said: “With 99% of the country in tiers two or three, this remains lockdown in all but name for nearly all pubs during the most important trading month of the year. This puts hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk and places the future of British pubs in even greater doubt for the years ahead. Out of more than 2,300 pubs in England, we will have just six in tier one areas, with pubs in tier three closed and pubs in tier two unlikely to be profitable.

“Pubs have been at the centre of communities for hundreds of years and we urgently need additional support to help the industry through the winter to the spring when the effects of better weather and a vaccine can hopefully begin to show. We are ready to open and trade and have invested millions of pounds in safety measures but large numbers of pubs are simply not financially viable under the tier two and three restrictions.”