‘It’ll help put businesses back to normal’: Washington bar bosses react to easing of Covid rules

The Government’s announcement that Covid restrictions in England are to be relaxed has gone down well with pub bosses across Washington.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 9:09 am

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said masks would no longer be compulsory indoors from Monday, July 19.

The move has been welcomed by several Washington pub bosses, who say they believe it will be a boost for their industry which has suffered much in the last 16 months.

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Kimberley Cheetham at the Cross Keys said: “We’ll be so much busier. We might have to rethink the rotas."
Kimberley Cheetham at the Cross Keys said: “We’ll be so much busier. We might have to rethink the rotas."

David Step, manager at the Biddick Inn in Bonemill Lane, said: “I think it’s going to affect us, in a good way. It should be busier if people can come in and sit in groups of more than six at a table. We’ll be able to get more people in the pub.

“And if they don’t have to sit, all the better. Some people like to stand. We’ll also be able to put music on again and have karaoke.”

Robbie Bould, who has run the Wessington in Donwell with his wife Sheila for nine years, agrees.

He said: “It will definitely be good for business. We’ve had all the measures in place since day one. The place couldn’t be any cleaner. But if they relax the rules on July 19, then all the better.

Clockwise from top left; Washington pubs the Wessington, Biddick Inn, Highwayman and Cross Keys

“We need to move forward and relaxing the rules on masks would be a start. We can’t keep on doing what we’ve been doing.”

James Brydon, manager of the Highwayman in Lambton, said: “For some reason my business has picked up since the first lockdown. But hopefully more people will come out.

“The older people are still a bit frightened. The young ones don’t seem so bothered. I think we’ve got to get on with it. We’ve got to come out of this some time.”

Kimberley Cheetham has been general manager of the Cross Keys in Washington Village since August 2020.

She said: “It’ll help put businesses back to normal. I think it’s what’s needed. The pubs need it and it’s good for morale. We’ll be so much busier. We might have to rethink the rotas."

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