Coronavirus: Businesses bleed dry in Durham where COVID-19 is spreading rapidly | UK News


In Durham, the coronavirus is spreading rapidly.

Confirmed cases have risen by more than 38% last week and everyone seems to agree that something needs to be done.

But as those strolling the quiet streets say they are ready and willing to sacrifice their nights for the greater good, business owners and their employees are frustrated and worried.

In The Shakespeare pub, where on a good Saturday the bar is deemed full when no one else can comfortably sit there, there are only eight drinkers and a lone staff member.

Mr Phillips’ changes have been scaled back due to the pandemic
Shakespeare pub owner fears another forced closure will kill his business

Paul Phillips, wearing the mandatory mask and occasionally pulling a pint under a No Drinking At The Bar sign, says he’s had two shifts this week.

With the pub owner fearing another forced shutdown could kill his business, Mr Phillips fears for his job.

Across the street in Capriccios, owner Massimiliano Ferro stands across the street watching the sparse crowds.

His restaurant closes at 6pm now, and he tells me that the £ 300 he took all day won’t cover his four staff salaries and all his other bills.

He believes a return to a nationwide lockdown for a few weeks would be better for everyone than what he calls half-and-a-half measures that bleed him dry.

As her restaurant closes and the lights fade, the average age of people on the streets crumbles.

It looks like everyone over 25 has come home, with one telling me in parting that while she won’t be bothered if the bars are closed, these are the students she is for. feels sorry.

Durham is quiet at night as people return home after 10 p.m.
Durham is quiet at night as people return home after 10 p.m.

While the 800 students at two Durham University colleges were urged to self-isolate last week, their peers appear resigned to less freedom.

One told me that he and his roommates would be fine with booze at the supermarket, while another insisted that he supports closing pubs if it makes people safer.

As the evening approached the streets got quieter and quieter until the bars closed at 10 a.m. and suddenly chatty teens seemed to be everywhere.

Some seemed little concerned with social distancing or the rule of six or socializing only with people from your own household.

And then, just as suddenly, most of them were gone, leaving behind the now constant threat that pubs and bars could be forced to close at any time.


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