Sheffield bar planning for ‘worst case scenario’ with UK set for ‘inevitable’ second wave
A bar and restaurant in Sheffield has called for clear guidance about what further restrictions to expect as the UK prepares for a ‘seemingly inevitable second spike’ of coronavirus.
Pour, a popular craft beer and pizza joint on London Road, in Heeley, was forced to close its doors when lockdown began in March, though it continued operating as a takeaway and was able to reopen fully after restrictions were eased in July.
The venue is not affected by new rules limiting social gatherings within England to six people from Monday, September 14, which were introduced following a steep rise in Covid-19 cases within the UK.
But co-owner Edd Entwistle believes it is inevitable that cases will continue to rise and restrictions will have to be further tightened to reduce the spread of the virus.
“Perhaps, just perhaps, the Government could give us some kind of roadmap for closing down again in the event of the seemingly inevitable second spike. You know, just give us a rough number of new cases per 100,000 after which certain actions will have to take place,” he said.
“We know schools are staying open whatever happens, that's been made clear, but do we assume the lockdown in Bolton is a template? Or Leicester? Or Glasgow? What is the next step in places if local lockdowns are ineffectual?
"At the moment, we know that if cases in other countries reach a certain level we will impose a quarantine on people returning from them, but we don’t know what’s going to happen if cases reach a certain level in Sheffield.
“I will do whatever is required to keep people safe, and keep Pour open, I just want to be able to plan for the worst case scenario.
"I think the Government’s communication throughout the pandemic has been to say the least lacking, and I wouldn’t be the only business person to feel a little let down by its response.”
Mr Entwistle said trade had been ‘varied’ since reopening, with the Eat Out to Help Out scheme proving a ‘major help’, but he felt those pubs and bars which unlike Pour do not serve food deserved more support.
He added that customers at Pour and in his experience most other venues had been ‘incredibly responsible’ when it came to observing social distancing.
"We’ve shifted from being a bar basically to being a restaurant, with table service only, because we decided that would be easier to manage,” he said.
"We’re really happy with how our cleaning procedures and other safety measures have been integrated into our daily routine.
"We can limp by for now and if things close down a bit more we can operate as a takeway. It’s not an ideal situation, though, and we really hope it doesn’t come to that.
"We’re obsessively checking the coronavirus figures as they’re released at around 4pm every day and then waiting for the Government reaction. It’s all just a bit on the stressful side.”
Customers at Pour were already limited to tables of six, meaning the latest restrictions will not affect how it operates.