News that the pub chain Wetherspoons could be exempt from new lockdown restrictions in Merseyside has caused outrage online.
Pubs that serve food will be allowed to remain open in Merseyside while so called “wet pubs” have been forced to close under new coronavirus restrictions, the Guardian‘s Josh Halliday has reported.
Under Boris Johnson’s new three-tiered lockdown system, announced on Monday, Merseyside will be hit the toughest restrictions as it falls under tier three – the highest level.
Under new restrictions, hospitality venues, including pubs that do not “substantially” sell food, will be forced to close for a month.
Restaurants, on the other hand, will remain open until 10.30pm.
New: I'm told that 'food-based pubs' such as Wetherspoons will be allowed to stay open in Merseyside while pubs and bars that don't "substantially" serve food will have to close later this week.
— Josh Halliday (@JoshHalliday) October 12, 2020
This measure would mean pubs such as Wetherspoons and other gastropubs will be able to stay open.
Twitter users felt that Tory Party donors, such as Wetherspoons’ founder Tim Martin, are given special treatment by the government.
@JonnyR_Labour quipped: “Amazing what donations to the Tory Party will do for you.”
Actor David Schneider wrote: “New lockdown restrictions latest: LOW RISK BUSINESSES – Those run by Tory donors/Brexit supporters. HIGH RISK – The rest.”
Spoons is “food-based” about as much as a deep fried mars bar is diet friendly https://t.co/P82LAueXeV
— Rupert Myers (@RupertMyers) October 12, 2020
Colin Brazier added: “Might as well say ‘let’s keep Wetherspoons open because the boss is a massive supporter of Brexit and we can’t afford to lose his support.'”
Ryan love said: “Quite literally making it up as they go along.”
We all know the mantra by now: "A bar snack a day keeps the pandemic away…" https://t.co/uNyJODKutU
— Edwin Hayward 🦄 🗡 (@uk_domain_names) October 12, 2020
Boris Johnson address the House of Commons on Monday where he announced his new three-tier system.
Alongside a lockdown of Merseyside, Johnson pledged £28million for businesses forced to shut.
This will comprise £14 million to help clinically vulnerable people and set up enforcement measures, and a further £14 million to bolster local contact-tracing teams and for local authority communications.