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Lock Down 3: Lock Down with a Vengeance

Boris Johnson yesterday announced the 'Winter Plan' for when national restrictions in England end on 2 December. The country will be moving into a new and stronger three-tier system, which actually places additional restrictions on hospitality businesses as well as on households mixing - so in effect, we enter a third lock down period for pubs, restaurants and the brewing industry.

Publicans and Brewers now require the grit and determination of John McClane to survive, because let's face it, the Government has only provided the industry with the equivalent of a vest and a pair of shoes not big enough to fit my sister.

We'll find out more about which Tiers apply to each area throughout the country on Thursday - Tier 1 allows some restricted trade, Tier 2 is almost impossible for a wet-led pub to survive and Tier 3 means closure.

Strangely, at Tier 2 it will be possible for 2,000 people to attend an event outdoors (or 1,000 people to attend an event indoors) but if you go to a pub you must only do so with people from your own household or support bubble and you may only consume alcohol with a 'substantial meal'.

Even more strange is that restrictions are at their tightest in a sector which is less frequently visited in the days leading up to a positive Coronavirus test result:

We could be forgiven for thinking that our Government really doesn't like pubs - but let's not forget the primary supporting industries that rely on pubs and bars; breweries, butchers, bakers, grocers, dry-foods, trade gas suppliers, drinks wholesalers, hygiene and pest control services...the list goes on.

I'm sure we'll make it through this - John McClane always comes through at the end albeit battered and bruised - the news of an imminent vaccine roll out will surely see the end of restrictions in 2021 and we'll hopefully see a surge in trade when people can finally get back to normal socialising.

But we need support. Financial support that's properly protects the supply chain as well as pubs and bars.

Come on Rishi Sunak, don't be like Hans Gruber and try to keep all those bearer bonds for yourself or we'll have to throw you out of the 30th floor of Nakatomi Plaza.

"Yippee-ki-yay Mother-hugger." (Damn you censors!)

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