Penwortham's Black Bull Inn forced to close due to new ban on household mixing in pubs

A 200-year-old pub in Penwortham says it will be forced to shut its doors due to the Government's new ban on household mixing.

By Matthew Calderbank
Tuesday, 13th October 2020, 12:36 pm

The Black Bull Inn in Pope Lane says it will be forced to shut from Wednesday (October 14), when Lancashire officially becomes a Tier 2 (High Risk) area.

Under the new tier system, households in Tier 2 areas will be banned from mixing indoors, including inside pubs.

Pubs had previously been 'urged' to keep households apart, but the Government guidance had been widely disregarded as it was deemed impractical.

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Penwortham's Black Bull Inn said it will soon have to close due to the impact of the Government's Tier 2 restrictions which ban people from different households mixing inside pubs

But the ban will now become law on Wednesday, with pubs facing a £10,000 penalty if they fail to enforce the rule.

In addition to the 10pm curfew already in force nationally, some landlords say the new ban on socialising with friends and family from other households will leave their pubs unsustainable.

Penwortham's Black Bull Inn has already confirmed that it will be forced to shut once the new regulations take effect on Wednesday.

Posting on the pub's Facebook page yesterday evening (Monday, October 12), management said the pub is "simply not going to work" within the confines of the Tier 2 restrictions.

It said remaining open is not an option as the ban on people meeting inside the pub will have a catastrophic effect on its profits.

The ban will further reduce capacity inside pubs as table sharing is restricted to those from the same household, meaning many tables will be occupied by just one or two customers.

The Bull, which is noted for its range of traditional cask ales, said it will remain open until its current stock has been sold, before it closes until next year.

Management said: "The Black Bull only works if people can meet-up with their friends inside - an effective Rule of just 1 or 2 from the same household is simply not going to work at the Bull - it would not cover wages and bills.

"We'll open for a couple more days this week, from 3pm Tuesday. Rule of 6 still on Tuesday and Wednesday (possibly until 5pm depending upon enactment) dropping down to the same household only from Wednesday at 5pm, and just until we drink-up the current stock, and then it's probably going to be 2021 before we think of re-opening.

"Many, many thanks to those customers who've visited and supported us since August 24, it was managing to pay its way."

The pub says it will be reducing the price on all of its beers from today (Tuesday, October 13), before it calls last orders for the final time in 2020.

It added: "Discounts on all beers from Tuesday so do pop in and say 'bye for now'... but book your pod to ensure there’s one free!"

The Black Bull has declined to comment.