THE management team at a traditional Wrexham pub fear that the local lockdown starting this evening could be the final straw for business like theirs.

Dependent on the evening trade, Darren Nixon and Beverley Davies of The Greyhound Inn on Holt Road were already seeing business nosedive with the introduction of the 10pm curfew in Wales.

Now, with local lockdown being imposed from 6pm today (Thursday, October 1), the couple are worried about how long they can keep pulling pints for their regulars.

The Leader:

Landlord and landlady Darren and Beverley

Beverley said: "It's going to have dire consequences for us. We have a lot of he men who come in on their own, but they like to sit together and play pool together, but obviously they are not the same household. Last night we had quite a few families in, but that is going to be the last time they can sit together, so I don't know what impact that is going to have. We have a gang of football lads who come in, 12 of them, and we have to tell them they can't sit together. That is a big chunk of our money."

The Leader:

The Greyhound Inn, Holt Road

She added: "When we came out of lockdown the first time we were doing fine. But when the curfew hit that severly set us bavck and I think this will. I think that's the whole point. We have a lot of people who come in for the social aspect, a lot of widowers, and they all sit together. But they aren't allowed to do that."

The Leader:

The bar at The Greyhound Inn

Beverley said customers have pleaded with her and Darren not to close their doors.

She added: "When we heard about the lockdown we thought we would have to close, and he said that the other night. One customer got quite upset. He said you don't realise what a lifeline you are to me, I've got noone. He comes in here most nights and has a couple of pints, watches the Chase with us and that kind of things, we're like a family. As it happens we are not closing, but I don't know how long we can carry on with the curfew and now local lockdown."

Darren and Beverley are hoping regulars will still come to the pub to see them through these difficult times.

The pub has posted the new rules on Facebook, asking people to abide by them and join them for "a pint or three".

Rules to follow at The Greyhound:

  • People can only meet others that they do not live with, outdoors.
  • Extended households or 'bubbles' no longer exist in areas of local lockdown - even if everyone in the bubble lives in the same area.
  • Everyone over 11 will be required to wear face coverings in indoor public areas – as is the case across Wales
  • We must stop serving drinks at 10pm and you must leave the pub by 10:20pm
  • Please follow the one-way system around the pub. Entry through the front door, exit through the carpark door

The Leader:

The Greyhound Inn

Darren and Beverley feel that the hospitality industry is suffering the brunt of new measures to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Beverley added: "It wouldn't be so bad if we had the local lockdown and lifted the curfew. We are very much an evening pub. We have guys who are very set in their ways, they go home, have some food, watch a bit of telly and come to the pub at half nine or ten. A few have changed and are coming in at eight but we have lost quite a few to the curfew."

She even fears the struggling pub could have to turn customers away to meet social distancing guidelines.

She added: "We haven't had to yet because of the fall in numbers due to the curfew, but we could have to now. We have seven tables. If the weather's bad ultimately you're looking at seven people.

"With this local lockdown, I can work because I've got an office job, I had to take another job because the pub isn't making any money. I'm allowed to work with seven people at my job all day, for eight hours, but I can't go for a drink with them. I'd say they need to look at why they are doing these restrictions. We were one of the pubs that were as close to 100 per cent covid safe. We had people coming in and saying 'we feel so safe here, we don't want to go into town, we know you're on top of it'.

"We were ticking along nicely, but ten o'clock came in and how we'll fair from tonight I just don't know.

"If you think about it, we're only open from four in the afternoon til ten at night - a supermarket is open from eight in the morning til ten at night. You can go there and there is very little social distancing and hand sanitizing going on. Yet here, if licensing come in and I didn't have those things in place I could be fined or we could lose our licence. It seems to be a lot stricter on the hospitality.

"We are only a small pub and I have four sanitizing stations, I've got signs upon signs. It just feels hospitality are getting the rough end of it, they seem to be blaming us for the rise in covid."

The Leader:

Health Minister Vaughan Gething

The Leader asked Wales' Health Minister Vaughan Gething about the impact of the latest lockdown on pubs and other small businesses in North Wales.

He said he recognised the consequences of lockdown for both businesses and people's health.

But he said, with licensed premises in Cheshire, Wirral and Merseyside facing similar restrictions, it was time for the UK Government to offer support.

Beginning by referring to funding from the third phase of the Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund, Mr Gething told the Leader: "When Ken Skates made his announcement of the £140 million package earlier this week it was largely targeted at smaller businesses.

"The challenge is there is a limit to what Ken has referred to as our economic and fiscal firepower. We don't have the ability to have access to much larger sums of money that the UK Treasury do."

"We do think that it would be appropriate for the UK Treasury to look again at the broader support that's being provided.

"I don't want to see viable businesses having to close, I don't want to see people lose their jobs. As a health minister, I know that when there is an economic harm and people lose their jobs there is often health harm, particularly mental health. So support for businesses is important for the economy but it is also important for the health service both in terms of demand and maintaining tax income for the future."

Finally, Beverly hoped customers would still come to the pub.

She said: "Come in and know that, as far as Darren and I can, this place is covid-safe. If they want a drink they should come. And as for Sober October - no chance!"