‘We have to get over it’: Norfolk pubs back tighter rules

PUBLISHED: 18:54 09 September 2020 | UPDATED: 09:43 10 September 2020

Dawn Hopkins, owner and landlady of The Rose in Norwich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Dawn Hopkins, owner and landlady of The Rose in Norwich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN


Norfolk pub owners have shown support for the new laws put in place to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The Black Horse Pub landlords, Pam and Terry Gillman. Picture: Sonya DuncanThe Black Horse Pub landlords, Pam and Terry Gillman. Picture: Sonya Duncan

The prime minister announced a set of measures in a Downing Street press conference which affect the hospitality industry.

Groups of more than six people from different households or bubbles, both indoors and outdoors, have been banned - including at pubs and restaurants.

These venues will also will be legally required to request test and trace information from customers and keep the details for 21 days.

Boris Johnson warned fines would be handed out if places did not comply and were not “Covid-secure”.

After the announcement on Wednesday, Terry Gillman, who owns the The Black Horse in Thetford with his wife Pam, rang several customers to cancel bookings for more than six people.

But Mr Gillman, who has always had a track and trace system in place, said the new laws were a “good thing”.

“If I’d been somewhere with an outbreak I’d want to know.” he said. “And I don’t think it’s harsh that pub owners have to police it because I feel a responsibility to my customers.

“Currently, we haven’t been seating more than six people anyway. Although we did accept larger groups they would be sat on different tables at a social distance. We’ll just have to police it more stringently now.”

Dawn Hopkins, landlord at The Rose Inn on Queen’s Road in Norwich, said the measures would not make “lives easier” but were a necessity to curb coronavirus.

She said: “We’ve just got to look at the bigger picture and get over this. If this is what is needed to move forward then I’m happy with it. All pubs are doing things differently so I suppose this is to bring everyone in line with each other.”

Since reopening after lockdown, Ms Hopkins has limited group numbers to four due to social distancing, but said she had been met with resistance for track and trace.

She added: “We’re trying our best with track and trace but some people won’t do it, so I don’t serve them. Some customers also think we’re doing this to annoy them and be awkward. So hopefully now this will show them that we’re being told to do this and it is law.”

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