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Coronavirus: Lancashire agrees to move into tier-3 local lockdown with £42mln funding package

The decision will affect 1,144 pubs and wine bars, 98 betting shops, 167 gyms and three casinos

JD Wetherspoon - Coronavirus: Lancashire agrees to move into tier-3 local lockdown with £42mln funding package

Lancashire has agreed with the government to be placed into the tier-3 local lockdown as of Saturday.

It is the ‘very high’ risk classification, meaning wet-led pubs, gyms, leisure centres, betting shops and casinos are required to close, while individuals are asked not to travel in and out those areas unless necessary.

READ: London enters tier 2 of lockdown as Marston’s announces job cuts

Food-led pubs and restaurants can continue trading if they serve substantial meals.

The region, home to 1.5mln people, has secured a £42mln funding package.

The decision will affect 1,144 pubs and wine bars, 98 betting shops, 167 gyms and three casinos, Aky News reported.

While regions in the tier 1 can continue with the 10pm curfew and the rule of six as implemented until last week, the tier 2 bans meetings of people from different households in any indoor space, either private or public settings.

On Saturday London and Essex will move into tier 2 but many argue that it is worse than tier 3 for businesses because it lacks a proper financial package.

"Level two is maximum restrictions and maximum squeeze on revenue and no support," Kate Nicholls from trade body UKHospitality told the BBC.

"If you go into level three you are getting support if you are closed. So at least we would have something to pay the teams. At least we would have a small amount of grant to cover the overheads and costs... It would be better to be paid to be closed."

London Mayor Sadiq Khan asked Boris Johnson for further financial support for companies already hit by shorter trading hours and extra safety costs.

“Capacity constraints are one thing but the new lockdown measures are particularly painful,” said Ross Hindle, leisure sector analyst at research firm Third Bridge.

“It is expected that the new regulations will cause trading levels across the managed-pub industry to decline by up to 50% over the next six-month period.”

JD Wetherspoon PLC (LON:JDW) slammed the restrictions in Friday’s interim results, calling for a “more sensible and consistent regulatory framework” for the industry to operate.

Liberum noted that Wetherspoons and Marston's PLC (LON:MARS) have the largest exposure to the North of England, while Young’s (LON:YNGA) and Fullers, Smith & Turner plc (LON:FSTA) are mostly focused on London and Home Counties.

Restaurant Group PLC (LON:RTN) and Loungers PLC (LON:LGRS) look to be least affected because they are food-led, the broker noted.

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