IT has been another blow for the Warrington hospitality sector today with the announcement of the curfew and the tighter restriction to curb the rise in coronavirus infection rates.

Among the changes from Tuesday are that pubs and restaurants must close at 10pm and that Warrington residents are advised to only visit venues with members of their household – overriding the 'rule of six' elsewhere in the country.

Some bars will also be facing a big adjustment with table service being mandatory.

This is how some of Warrington's bars and restaurants have responded.

Neil Sparkes

Blue Bell, White Hart, The Maltings, Postern Gate and Level

I think the actions being taken across the north west are all over the show.

We have pubs within the areas of Warrington Borough Council, Trafford Council, Salford City Council and Cheshire East Council – all four have different rules and restrictions with the same goal to reduce the spread.

I can see why new restrictions in Warrington are needed with the increase in numbers but what will be needed is support for business that are forced to close as a result.

My bar Level hasn’t been able to open since March and landlords of venues are still charging full rent on properties while at the same time insurance companies are refusing to pay out for business interruption claims.

Our business is in a position to be able to weather the storm for a few months but is in danger long term if further restrictions are implemented.

The only blessing for this current restriction is that they have given us a bit of notice. In March we were told to close with no notice and all our sites had to dispose of nearly £28,000 of food and wet stock that was ordered for a busy Mothers' Day weekend.

Hopefully the authorities will come up with a real long term plan, to not only control the virus but also make sure the small businesses in the town are supported so that there is a local economy left at the end of all this.

James Glover

Hideout and Block 1

I think they should have locked everything down for two weeks again. Opening until 10pm will encourage people to still go out earlier which is not going to stop the spread.

Since July 4, there have been queues to get in my venues at 8pm as most places close at 1am. This will shift even earlier in my opinion.

Young people are always going to want to go out and socialise and closing at 10pm will encourage people to go back to each other's houses which are even more confined than bars and without safety measures.

I also think changing from the 'rule of six' to no mixing between two households in bars is the one that determines if I stay open or not because if the onus is on me to prove this, it makes it a lot more difficult to run a business.

There needs to be a bit more clarity for me on this for venues this is why a simple two-week lock down would stop the confusion in my opinion

It’s a tough time for every business but a simple lockdown across all businesses may speed up our recovery.

Anthony Costello

Costello's Bar, Stockton Heath and The Brewery Tap, Lymm

At both Lymm and Stockton Heath we've been following the government guidance since day one.

That advised table service in all venues where possible which our on site risk assessment confirmed to be the safest way to operate – so there's no change for us there.

Early closing is definitely an inconvenience for us and will affect sales, but we can understand why it's being done and the safety of our customers and staff always comes first.

The Botanist

Sales manager Jason Ireton said: "Unfortunately we'll feel a slight hit in sales with the curfew but mostly we’re not operating any differently to before.

"Luckily, we already operate on a table service only basis and we’ve always kept to the six per group rule and our hygiene and safety procedures in the venue are strictly abided by, by all staff and customers. Our track and trace system has been compulsory from reopening too.

"We’ve also always been advising that the group of six should be from one household or support bubble but it’s not something we can police."

  • Do you run a restaurant or bar and want to have your say? Do you think the tighter restrictions are a necessary step or another nail in the coffin for hospitality in the Covid 19 era? If you want to comment send an email to