Hartlepool hospitality bosses welcome go ahead for New Year celebrations with no new Covid curbs
Hartlepool restaurants and publicans have welcomed the go ahead for New Year celebrations after no new Covid restrictions were announced.
Revellers will be able to see in 2022 on what is traditionally one of the busiest nights of the year for the hospitality sector.
Although fresh curbs have been imposed in Scotland where table service is required where alcohol is being served, and Wales where nightclubs have closed, no new restrictions have been announced in England.
It has been welcomed by pub and restaurant chiefs in Hartlepool.
Darab Rezai, chairman of Hartlepool Licensees Association, said: “That’s good news that hospitality can function until New Year.
"It’s good news for the pubs and clubs and nightclubs that people will be able to go out.
"However, we still don’t know what’s happening after New Year.
"I think the Government has been a bit indecisive. As a result a lot of people have lost bookings.
"Speaking to a lot of restaurants there have been a lot of cancellations.”
Restaurants saw a swathe of cancellations in the run up to Christmas as cases of Covid and the new Omicron variant rose sharply across the UK and there were fears of new lockdown measures.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced on Monday (December 27) there would be no limits on social mixing beyond the Plan B measures currently in place.
Mr Rezai said businesses will continue to take precautions and follow Government guidance.
That includes at the Park Inn pub, in Park Road, which will exercise caution, especially on New Year’s Eve.
Landlady Tracy Bell said: “We will be doing our own things to keep it safe for everybody who comes out and hopefully everyone can still have a good New Year
"We will have the ventilation just right, we are going to be keeping an eye on numbers and not letting the place get overcrowded.”
They will also close at 1am due to the additional costs associated with having to carry out Covid-19 passport checks after that time.
Tracy said this Christmas has been busier than expected but staff levels have been hit by infections.
Mr Rezai said businesses are waiting to hear how to apply for new Covid grants of up to £6,000.
Hartlepool Borough Council said on its website it is awaiting further details from the Government.