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Covid-19: Nottinghamshire businesses prepare to close again

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image captionLandlord Ezra Watson said the pub would be restarting a takeaway service for beers and street food

Pub owners have said it is "heartbreaking" they will be forced to close their businesses while Nottingham's tier three restrictions are in place.

Under the "very high" alert, pubs and bars must close unless they serve a "substantial meal".

One landlord said he felt pubs had been blamed for the city's infection rate rise.

The measures come into force from midnight on Thursday.

They will affect the city, Rushcliffe, Gedling and Broxtowe.

Craig Pennington, landlord of the Lord Roberts pub in Nottingham city centre, said he was 95% sure he would have to close as the kitchen was not big enough to make staying open "worthwhile".

"It's heartbreaking, and it's sad pubs are getting the blame," he said.

"There will be some that broke the rules but I don't think anyone would have caught [Covid-19] from mine. We were really strict.

"Tier two had already cleared business. The town is dead at night. People are scared and you can't mix with friends.

"But we will be back, without a doubt. The pub was booming before lockdown and we've got amazing plans for the future."

image captionCraig Pennington said he hoped the pub would be back open soon

Another landlord said he was preparing to close, too, and would restart a takeaway service for beer and food.

Ezra Watson, from the Six Barrels in the city centre, said waiting for an announcement had made it difficult to know whether or not to buy extra stock.

"It's a bit overdue. It's felt difficult at times," he said.

"For months we've been doing everything the government asked. Then we're the ones they come down hardest on."

  • Latest updates: Nottingham facing "very high" restrictions

Talks are continuing to set out the detail of what tier three restrictions will mean for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

The package of measures is expected to outline the financial support available for residents and businesses.

It is expected to amount to £29 per head, which could mean about £20m across the 700,000 combined population of Nottingham City, Gedling, Rushcliffe and Broxtowe.

image captionTracy Boardman said she felt sad

Under the new measures there is also a further ban on households mixing indoors and in private gardens.

Tracy Boardman, from Basford, Nottingham said she felt "really sad" about it.

"It's been going on for so long now," said the 48-year-old.

"Children are allowed to go to school and adults can work, but I can't see my family. I know we can meet outdoors in a public place, but look at the weather.

"But we all had a feeling this was going to happen - it was no surprise."

The affected parts of Nottinghamshire join Liverpool City Region, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, South Yorkshire and Warrington in the highest tier.

Leader of Nottingham City Council, David Mellen, has appealed to residents to "work together" and stick to "very difficult" restrictions.

Though it did have the highest figures in the UK earlier this month, Nottingham's seven-day rate of infection has dropped again, according to the latest data.

The city had the 24th highest rate of infection per 100,000 people in England, at 443.7, in the week up to the 23 October, down from 677.4 the previous week.

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