Pubs stay shut as city region moves into Tier 2

Government says Liverpool city region will move into Tier 2 COVID-19 restrictions when lockdown ends meaning restaurants will be open but pubs not serving food will stay shut. Tony McDonough reports

Food, restaurant, cafe, burger, meal, dining, hospitality, lunch
Only pubs that serve ‘substantial’ meals will be allowed to open


Liverpool city region will move into Tier 2 COVID-19 restrictions when the English national lockdown ends on December 2.

The Government has confirmed the Tiers for the country and Tier 2 means that restaurants across the six boroughs – Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens and Halton – will reopen, but pubs that don’t serve food will remain shut.

Restaurants, as well as pubs and bars that serve ‘substantial’ meals will have to close their doors by 10pm each evening. Gyms will be allowed to reopen along with personal care businesses such as hairdressers.

Tier 2 means separate households are not allowed to mix indoors, with the exception being ‘care bubbles’. Up to six people from different households can meet outside. Up to 2,000 people will also be allowed to attend outdoor sporting events.

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, and the leaders of the six local authorities, have put out a statement thanking the people of the city region for their efforts in brining down the number of COVID-19 cases.

It says: “Today’s announcement that the Liverpool City Region will exit the national lockdown into Tier 2 is welcome news and a testament to the sacrifice and reliance of everyone who lives here. We’d like to thank each and every person that helped us to achieve this outcome.

“When we entered Tier 3 restrictions seven weeks ago, we were in a very dangerous situation. We had the highest transmission rates in the country and faced the very real risk that our NHS would be overwhelmed.

“We are really pleased that today we see a more encouraging picture, with cases down by over two-thirds since their peak and COVID related hospital admissions also decreasing significantly, relieving some of the pressure on ICU.

The balance of evidence shows that although we faced a difficult decision over Tier 3, locally we took the right decisions, at the right time. We recognised that action was required, but also fought hard for the financial support for our businesses and workers most affected. We always have and always will try to do the best thing for our people and our businesses.

However, while today’s announcement is undoubtedly welcome, no one should be in any doubt that many difficult months ahead lie ahead. We know that these new Tier 2 restrictions will still be tough for many of our businesses and, until a full vaccination programme has been rolled out, the threat from COVID remains a very real and present danger.

“So, we urge everyone to continue to do what they have been doing so well over the past few weeks: following the guidance, protect each other and protect our health services. The worst thing we could do now is to slow the progress we have made or risk a third wave through complacency.

So please wear your face covering; keep your distance; wash your hands; keep getting tested; and use these hard-won freedoms wisely.”

Frank McKenna
Frank McKenna, chief executive of Downtown in Business. Picture by Tony McDonough


The Government’s decision on regional tiers today will make it even more difficult for it to meet its ambitions on the levelling up agenda, according to Frank McKenna, chief executive of business lobby group Downtown in Business. 

Mr McKenna said: “Although Liverpool is understandably heaving a huge sigh of relief as it moves from lockdown to Tier-2, in respect of the longer term implications for the city and the Northern Powerhouse, the placing of Manchester, Lancashire and Leeds in Tier-3 is a significant setback. 

“The reason the North has come together and collaborated over the past decade is in part a recognition that there is an interdependency between the regional hubs that drive the northern economy. 

“The impact of what amounts to continued lockdown for the majority of major economic centres across the Northern Powerhouse will inevitably depress any ambitions we have for this part of the world to be a net contributor to the economic recovery UK Plc needs to see post-pandemic.” 

Bill Addy, chief executive of Liverpool BID Company and chair of LVEN (Liverpool Visitor Economy Network), added: “We know the light is at the end of the tunnel in terms of vaccines and improved treatments, but there’s still a lot of travelling to go through before we get there.

“This is good news for retail, for sports and for our theatres and arts venues who can open in a limited capacity, but while some breathe a sigh of relief, we cannot forget challenges remain for many, many businesses across the city.

Bill Addy
Bill Addy, chief executive of Liverpool BID Company


“We need the government to address the long term support needed for retail, leisure and hospitality. These need to be in place until 2022, if we want our great cities to survive this unprecedented crisis. Christmas in Liverpool is like nowhere else, our famous nightlife, parties and socialising as we sing out the year and move into the next. This festive period will look very different for our night time economy.

“Mostly these are independent businesses, and it is this homegrown, passionate industry that has been hit incredibly hard. Most can’t afford lobbyists, or expensive marketing teams. They work hard to give people a great night out and to bring people joy. There are historic venues, part of the fabric and fibre of our city that sadly will not reopen.

“Businesses that are unable to open need help to survive so we’ll be spending the next few days talking to them to ascertain what it is they need and how we can help them open their doors once they’re able to in 2021.”

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