Drinkers in Liverpool are being asked to sign a disclaimer that they are from the same household as the city has been thrown into Tier Three lockdown.
Liverpool was the only area to immediately be placed into Tier Three after the new three-tier coronavirus lockdown system was introduced on Monday.
The region has faced another lockdown of pubs, casinos, betting shops, and gyms.
Draconian Tier Three regulations have seen restaurants close at 10pm, pubs and bars being ordered to close and households have been banned from mixing indoors or outdoors.
Locals are also advised not to travel to and from high risk areas and overnight stays outside of ‘high’ risk areas are banned.
On what would normally be a busy Friday afternoon for bars and pubs, Liverpool city centre was almost lifeless under the new restrictions.
Outdoor seating areas were deserted and inside the situation wasn’t much better, with a maximum of half a dozen people sitting down for a meal with their drinks in any one place.
One pub manager said he had loved his career in hospitality for years – until now.
Drinkers in Liverpool are being asked to sign a disclaimer at pubs that they are from the same household as the city has been thrown into Tier Three lockdown
Kyle Dottie, Operations Manager at Mikhail Hotel and Leisure, which owns Punch Tarmey’s Irish pub, said that aggravation towards staff has become almost ‘unbearable’ since Tier Three lockdown measures
On what would normally be a busy Friday afternoon for bars and pubs (above, Punch Tarmey’s pub), Liverpool city centre was almost lifeless under the new restrictions
Kyle Dottie, 33, said that aggravation towards his staff from the general public has become almost unbearable.
Mr Dottie, Operations Manager at Mikhail Hotel and Leisure, which owns Punch Tarmey’s Irish pub, said: ‘Our biggest headache is dealing with the general public.
‘After lockdown we were smashing it, but after these new restrictions were imposed at the start of the week we are doing 10-20 per cent of our normal trade, but with the same staffing levels required because it all has to be table service.
‘When a group of customers come in we ask them to sign in to the NHS track and trace, sanitise their hands and then we ask them if they’re all from the same household.
‘We ask them to sign a form stating that they are definitely from the same household but after that there’s not much more we can do, we just have to take their word for it.
‘Police and licensing have told us themselves that beyond that we can’t police it, so if police and licensing were to turn up at the venue and find that a group of people weren’t from the same household that would be on them not us.’
He said that staff have encountered aggravation from customers who refuse to wear masks, including girls who do not want to ‘because it will ruin their make up’ and ‘old fellas claiming they are exempt’.
The manager also said that the venue are now telling every customer that they have to order a main meal with their drink.
Liverpool City Region is still the only part of the country in the toughest Tier Three restrictions, after cases surged
Mr Dottie added: ‘We are telling every customer now that they have to order a main meal with their drink.
‘People have been claiming at the door they will order a meal and then refusing to order one when they’ve got their pint.
‘They claim it’s ridiculous and get annoyed at us but what the members of the public need to understand is that we know that but our hands are tied behind our back, we have to do this or we could lose our license.
‘I have done this job for years and years and I absolutely loved it, but I absolutely hate my job at the moment, it’s almost unbearable.’
Liverpool was the only area to be immediately put into Tier 3, the highest level, on Monday with Manchester, Newcastle and Birmingham among cities being ranked as Tier 2, or ‘high’ risk.
But Lancashire has now joined Liverpool as the only areas in the top bracket. Thousands of venues are expected to be closed from midnight tonight, with casinos, betting shops and car boot sales given another 48 hours’ grace.
London, Essex, Elmbridge, Barrow-in-Furness, York, North East Derbyshire, Chesterfield and Erewash will also move to the tougher Tier 2 restrictions from 0.01am on Saturday.
Pub manager Mr Dottie, 33, said that staff have encountered aggravation from customers who refuse to wear masks, including girls who do not want to ‘because it will ruin their make up’
Draconian Tier Three regulations have seen restaurants close at 10pm, pubs and bars being ordered to close and households have been banned from mixing indoors or outdoors
Tier 1 restrictions, which the majority of England have been placed under, are believed to mirror the rules currently in place across the country.
It includes the rule of six, a 10pm curfew, group sport to be played outdoors only and a maximum of 15 guests at wedding ceremonies.
Under Tier Two restrictions, households are also banned from meeting indoors, even in hospitality venues.
Two households are allowed to socialise outdoors but must stay within the six-person limit and adhere to social distancing.
There are now fears that Manchester could join Liverpool and become a Tier Three area as the Tier Two lockdowns are being kept under constant review by the Government.
But Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has launched an attack at the Government’s bid to make Greater Manchester a ‘sacrificial lamb’ by imposing the toughest lockdown measures seen country-wide.
He said this week that the North was being treated like a ‘canary in the coalmine’ with experimental restrictions.
Mr Burnham has claimed that if London was in the same position there would be a nationwide clampdown, and has even threatened legal action if the Tier Three lockdown was imposed.
The UK has recorded another 15,650 cases – 13 per cent higher than the 13,864 recorded last Friday, according to official figures
Health Secretary Matt Hancock blasted Mr Burnham’s interventions on Wednesday and urged local leaders to work with the Government to ‘put in place the measures that are needed in Greater Manchester, (and) across the North West’.
But local Tory MPs have also rejected calls for the region to be placed into Tier Three.
Sir Graham Brady, MP for Altrincham and Sale West in Greater Manchester, said: ‘The case has not been made for Greater Manchester to move into a Tier Three lockdown.’
The Prime Minister told Mr Burnham that ‘time is of the essence’ and the ‘situation in Greater Manchester is grave and it worsens with each passing day’ as the UK recorded another 15,650 cases – 13 per cent higher than the 13,864 recorded last Friday.
Talking about the situation in Greater Manchester today, he said: ‘On present trends in just over two weeks there will be more Covid patients in intensive care than at the peak of the first wave.
‘So I urge the mayor to reconsider and engage constructively. I cannot stress enough time is of the essence, each day that passes before action is taken means more people will go to hospital, more people will end up in intensive care and tragically more people will die.
‘Of course if agreement cannot be reached I will need to intervene in order to protect Manchester’s hospitals and save the lives of Manchester’s residents but our efforts will be so much more effective if we work together.’
Mr Johnson has made clear his preference is to work with Mr Burnham but he said if there is a continued failure to reach an agreement on moving into Tier Three then ‘I will need to intervene’.
Placing large chunks of the North into Tier Three is central to the Prime Minister’s plan to avoid a national circuit-breaker lockdown, by targeting action at the areas with the highest infection rates.
But ministers fear that if Labour sides with Tory rebels, the Government could be defeated in a confirmatory vote on the regulations, which would be needed next month to keep them in force.
Mr Johnson also failed to categorically rule out imposing a nationwide lockdown as he would only go as far as saying: ‘If at all possible I want to avoid another national lockdown.’