Harrogte town centre
Harrogate, The Ginnel, 9:45pm on 26 September 2020

Initial response to the Government’s covid winter plan

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Prime Minister Johnson has announced that the current lockdown will be replaced with a a 3-tier system on 2 December 2020.

  • In tier 1, the Government will reinforce the importance of working from home wherever possible.
  • In tier 2, pubs and bars must close unless they are serving substantial meals (like a full breakfast, main lunchtime or evening meal), along with accompanying drinks.
  • In tier 3, all hospitality will close except for delivery, takeaway and drive-through; hotels and other accommodation providers must close (except for specific exemptions, including people staying for work purposes or where they cannot return home); and indoor entertainment venues must also close.

The Government will also refine the previous tiers:

The 10pm closing time for hospitality has been modified to last orders at 10pm and closing time at 11pm. This allows customers to depart gradually and provides greater flexibility.

Retail and places of worship are open across all tiers.

In tiers 1 and 2, spectator sport and business events can now resume inside and outside with tight capacity limits and social distancing, providing more consistency with indoor performances in theatres and concert halls.

The Government is expanding eligibility of ‘support bubbles’2. This will help mitigate the impacts of the restrictions on parents of children aged under 1 (or under 5, but with a disability that necessitates continuous care) and for those households where a single adult cares for someone with a serious disability.

Paul Kinsey, Harewood Entertainments (Viper Rooms) said:

Well if your a bar or pub you can open longer and still take advantage of furlough but if you’re a club you get £2k a month and that’s if the local authorities have heard of clubs eligibility for the grant which Harrogate hadn’t until we emailed them the details!

That is meant to help us pay the £20m a month fixed costs

Yet again clubs have been, not just ignored, but positively excluded from help

It’s an absolute joke.

 

Garry Plant MD of Harrogate Town, welcomed the return of supporters:

It is a bright day for supporters with the Government announcement that subject to Tier Level rules a limited number of people can return to watching football after 2nd December.

The detail behind the government’s announcement about an initial return of crowds has yet to be scrutinised and how that dove tails with the Tier System rating and local North Yorkshire Safety Advisory Group rulings.

It is a bright day for football supporters and everyone at the club are gearing up for a return of noise at The EnviroVent Stadium.

We have a home match against Forest Green at The EnviroVent Stadium on 5th December and so we are already reviewing the detail of the announcement and are in discussions with The Sports Ground Safety Authority, North Yorkshire Safety Advisory Group and Harrogate Borough Council on how we make this happen.

We will advise the number of supporters that we will be able to welcome back, which will be subject to social distancing calculations and how we arrive at which supporters will be offered a place.

 

Simon Cotton, MD of HRH Group (Yorksire Hotel and Fat Badger) said:

Whilst I respect that controls and restrictions need to be in place it is unfair on businesses to be drip fed information with little time for planning and communication to both our employees and our guests.

The tier system is confusing enough without making more changes to it and especially when it comes to hotels, we have guests asking all the time about what it means if they live in one tier but then want to have a night away in another.

I also don’t like that individual authorities are having any powers taken away to make local level decisions.

With North Yorkshire suggesting before lockdown that it would be lumped together into one tier it will no doubt cause upset if this happens next week and no local considerations can be given in such a vast county.

 

Joseph Ferraro of Joseph Ferraro Hair, said:

I think this lockdown was a complete joke.

It is slowly killing businesses – slowly chocking us to death!

 

Wayne Topley, MD, Cedar Court Hotel Group said:

The hospitality industry was braced today for another round of restrictions which will make operating tougher across the county, but not impossible by any stretch of the imagination. The changes announced by the PM will put even more emphasis on the tier structure so the winter could be an ever changing target. As an industry we are great at ensuring our business’s are keeping people safe through dedicated hygiene and controls within our front of house and Heart of house areas so if the tier system means we need to close any elements of our business it will hit local business hard.

For now we can focus again on looking after people returning to Harrogate from the 3 December. At Cedar Court Hotels we are pressing ahead with our Christmas Events which are socially distanced, with each table group allocated their own space to chair dance, enjoy live comedy or live music acts as well as the added fun of silent discos… it is completely possible to have a great and safe Christmas.


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