How are Ipswich pubs coping with the coronavirus restrictions?

Dan Lightfoot is the landlord at the Greyhound pub in Ipswich, a tenant of Adnams brewery. Picture:

Dan Lightfoot is the landlord at the Greyhound pub in Ipswich, a tenant of Adnams brewery. Picture: DAN LIGHTFOOT - Credit: Archant

It’s been a week since new Government restrictions came into force limiting the hours that pubs and restaurants could remain open for, but how are businesses coping with the changes?

Liz Pledge and Peter Clifford from the The Fat Cat, a previous winner of the Ipswich Pub of the Year

Liz Pledge and Peter Clifford from the The Fat Cat, a previous winner of the Ipswich Pub of the Year Award Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Since September 24, all these venues have been forced to close their doors at 10pm in a bid to prevent the coronavirus from spreading.

Any venues breaking the rules could face serious fines.

However, there had been concerns that large groups of people have been congregating outside venues immediately after closing time.

Pubs in Ipswich have been reacting a week after the restrictions came into force.

Dan Lightfoot from The Greyhound Pub in Ipswich said: “All of our customers are abiding by the rules.

“Everybody is off the premises by 10pm.

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“It seems daft though, everyone is leaving at the same time. It just doesn’t make sense.

“It is safe at 10pm so I don’t see why it’s not safe at 11pm.”

Mr Lightfoot said that the restrictions had had their impact in other areas of the business.

“We are noticing the bookings for food are earlier,” said Mr Lightfoot.

Mr Lightfoot said that no-one was wanting a booking at 8.30pm when they knew they would have to leave by 10pm.

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Liz Pledge, manager of the Fat Cat said that they had adjusted their opening hours during the week but said that overall there hadn’t had too many issues.

“For the most part everybody has been doing quite well,” said Ms Pledge.

“You have the odd person who forgets about wearing a mask.

Ms Pledge said that some more freedom in some areas would have been welcomed would have been good particularly around closing time.

“It would have been helpful if there was a bit more leeway,” said Ms Pledge.

“You have to close by 11pm, but you could close anywhere between 9.30pm and 11pm.”

Ms Pledge said that less restriction in this area could help people trying to book taxis home which she said were a finite resource.

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