A TOP pub which will be forced to remain shut after the latest lockdown ends claims countywide restrictions are "unfair" on establishments that don't serve food.

The Railway Tavern in Brightlingsea, which was named as Tendring Camra's pub of the year, is perplexed as to why pubs selling food are allowed to remain open while they cannot.

The whole of Essex will remain with tier two restrictions after the second lockdown ends on December 2, despite a massive drop in cases in Tendring since October.

Pubs and bars in tier two will remain closed unless operating as restaurants, with alcohol only served as part of a “substantial meal” until 10pm, before having to close at 11pm.

Sarah Capon, landlady of the Railway Tavern, said: "Sadly, as we are a wet trade only public house, the tier two restrictions mean we can’t open.

"We fully understand the government’s reasoning behind this, but unfortunately the financial support isn’t in place.

"We closed our doors on November 4 and still haven’t received any money. Our bills still obviously have to be paid.

"We invested heavily putting everything in place that was required and our customers behaved impeccably, so presently we cannot understand the difference in what we were doing compared to the customers having food in front of them.

"We were offered a mortgage holiday during the first lock down, but nothing substantial has been put in place to help us this time and at present.

"We haven’t been given any indication that we will be able to reopen before Easter next year.

"It is extremely difficult and worrying times for us, but we have put so much in to keeping our local open, so we will do everything in our power to be here in the future."

She added that it is "extremely unfair" that the tiers are set for the county, rather than for more local areas because of Tendring's lower rate of Covid infections.


The Forum of British Pubs said closing pubs and bars has made little difference to transmission of the virus and that there will be a rise in unemployment and communities left with no heart.

Ian Cass, managing director of the forum, said pubs are frustrated by the lack of hard scientific and health based evidence to justify the closure of well run, socially distanced, outlets.

He said: "The focus should be on preserving our pubs and hospitality venues, in a safe and responsible way, rather than using them as a scape goat for the Government’s poorly communicated and badly executed plans to reduce transmission.”