A PUB and bar owner with 25 years' experience in the trade has spoken out after temporarily closing The Volstead in Bold Street and 9 Gallon in Sankey Street.

Mike Wilkinson, who is also one of the owners of The Post House in Springfield Street, has described it as 'near impossible to keep places trading with the measures the government have put upon us'.

He made the decision to shut both the venues on Tuesday evening adding he was '85 per cent down on trade with zero help'.

Mike said: "I've had 25 years of running bars and the trade has been taken away in six months because of incompetence by the country’s leaders.

"Covid-19 is a really difficult issue – and lives need protecting – but I 100 per cent think we are being lead wrong and put out to dry.

"Lots of other friends have also closed their bars. Our other bars are still open but for how long is anyone’s guess.

"The government have got it so wrong with the Covid measures put upon the hospitality industry.

"The hospitality industry can rebuild after this, but only if it gets substantial help at the moment.

Warrington Guardian:

The Volstead

"If bars and restaurant have to close for good, the knock on effect is massive with salons, barbers, nail bars, taxis, buses, trains, brewers, wholesalers, betting shops, the cosmetics trade, catering supplies, party planners, landlords of properties, utilities companies, clothing shops and many more all suffering a loss of trade because people will no longer be having days and nights out – never mind the 10 million that will be jobless."

Under Warrington's current 'tier 2' restrictions, households cannot mix in pubs and bars, it is table service only and there is a 10pm curfew.

Mike thinks there are two options.

"Close down all businesses and support them financially for a substantial amount of time to get the infection rate right down," he added.

"Or they need to just let places open with no measures. People have common sense and will use hand sanitisers. We will probably have to just live with the threat of Covid-19 day-to-day.

"The 10pm closing is a joke, with little supporting evidence that it makes a difference.

"Same household only measures was the nail in coffin in these trades.

The Chancellor announced a new support package for businesses affected by tier 2 restrictions, at lunchtime.

Rishi Sunak unveiled a new plan to help firms, particularly pubs and restaurants, who have seen their trade drop as a result of the social restrictions in the 'high' Covid-19 category.

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