'Devastating' plight of Luton's pubs forced to remain shut under tier two restrictions

A masked protest to save Luton's pubs is being planned next week as many are forced to remain shut under stringent tier two restrictions.
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From Wednesday, December 2, only pubs which sell substantial meals are able to reopen in Luton's tier two category.

The move has been labelled a "disaster" for many hospitality businesses which do not sell food, after an already financially difficult year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Alison Taylor, landlady at the Bricklayer's Arms in High Town, wrote online: "This is devastating for us as we are a wet-led pub and we don’t have the facilities, staff, finances and energy to make that work."

The Castle pubThe Castle pub
The Castle pub

Other pubs including The Globe, The Castle, O'Shea's and the Brewery Tap have stated they cannot reopen until the town is placed back into tier one.

In addition, The Castle pub has appealed for customers to purchase its stock and a Gofundme page has also been set up here.

A masked, socially-distanced protest is being organised on Market Hill, outside The Castle, at 5pm on Thursday, December 3, to highlight the plight of Luton's pub trade.

Yesterday (Thursday), MP for Luton South, Rachel Hopkins brought up the struggles of the town's pubs in the House of Commons and called for a specific debate on the pub industry.

Ms Hopkins said: “The announcement of additional restrictions from the 2nd December will further devastate local pubs in our town.

"Many local pubs such as The Castle and The Bricklayers Arms, which don’t serve food, feel they have been singled out for even more restrictions compared to gyms and supermarkets.

"Yesterday I pressed the government to publish the scientific evidence to justify these stringent measures, and asked for a debate on what additional support can be provided to pubs.

"The current level of support does not go far enough to ensure their survival in our communities.

"I will continue to raise this in Parliament."

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