It has now been confirmed that on the 19th July all legal Coronavirus restrictions will end (don’t get too excited though, confirmation of the confirmation takes place next Monday and we know that this government love a u-turn) but that won’t be the end of the pandemic, we’re only just starting to see some of the impacts that the past 15 months have had on businesses.
Remember when they said life wouldn’t be ‘normal’ again? Then restrictions eased and ‘normal’ was to queue outside of a pub to go to a beer garden and drink a cold pint in the rain? People loved it, at first. That hype lasted a few weeks, the city was buzzing, some places had never taken so much money (despite the restrictions)!
It’s almost three months since the beer gardens reopened and six weeks since we could go inside again and things have plateaued, for many reasons. COVID-19 cases are on the rise (that was inevitable), is that putting people off? Restrictions are (hopefully) set to ease on the 19th July, are people waiting for that before they go wild again? Life without restrictions doesn’t mean life without COVID-19, it will always be there. Do people not have enough money to go out anymore or is it just a new habit after 14 months of lockdowns/tiers?
What is happening? Why the concern now?
The last week has seen some businesses temporarily close. Monday saw Kelham’s Church:Temple of Fun announce that they would be closed for 10 days to avoid the spread of the virus as a staff member had tested positive. On Thursday a staff member of Public and sister venue The Gatsby had COVID-19 symptoms and announced they were to close whilst they had tests, the following day they put out a message to say that they were to close until further notice as they didn’t have enough staff members in the team to provide the service that they believe in. These businesses have struggled for months, voluntarily closing couldn’t have been easy.
Church will reopen on the 8th July and we expect Public and The Gatsby not to be closed for too long however Pour’s statements reads more worryingly…
On Saturday Pour, in Heeley announced that they are to take an hiatus whilst they figure out a way forward, which doesn’t sound great… Pour is a great spot on London Road, a fully vegan bar that serves great pizza and it will be a huge loss whilst on its break.
There’s staff shortages in the hospitality sector, there’s an increase in outgoings but businesses are putting the health & safety of staff and customers first. The true impact of the pandemic will take months, probably years to fully unravel but we’re starting to see signs that the ‘new normal’ doesn’t look great…
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