Northumberland publican dismayed to be missing out on Easter trade as Government reveals roadmap to reopening

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A Northumberland publican is confident of a busy summer season after Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined a roadmap to reopening.

Pubs and restaurants will be able to open outdoors from April 12 and indoors from May 17 if the Government’s easing of the Covid-19 lockdown works.

Jake Castleman, owner of Curious Taverns Ltd which operates the Pig in Muck in Alnwick and The Cock and Bull in Amble, is disappointed – though not surprised – that the business will miss out on the traditionally busy Easter period.

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"It was heart-breaking when we missed out last Easter so it’s a kick in the proverbials that we will miss it again,” he admitted.

Publican Jake Castleman.Publican Jake Castleman.
Publican Jake Castleman.

However, he is anticipating an influx of summer visitors to provide welcome relief after months of closure.

He said: “I think this roadmap is a lot more sensible. There is a lot of caution in what was said but it’s promising.

"We do have outdoor space at Alnwick but not in Amble so we will remain closed there until May 17. In Alnwick we will reopen with outdoor tables with more of a cafe-style.

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“If things reopen as planned and we can have a summer like last year when there was a bumper British tourist season then we’ll do well in Alnwick and Amble and I’m sure our neighbours will as well.

The Pig in Muck in Alnwick.The Pig in Muck in Alnwick.
The Pig in Muck in Alnwick.

"I do feel for the city centre places that probably won’t have the tourist numbers that we’ll get in Northumberland. I know not everyone likes it but, as a business, it’s a lifeline.”

He also hopes the Government will keep the appropriate support packages in place.

"As much as the Government likes to keep pointing out its support for closed businesses, the reality is that is is barely covering the bills for us so it’s lucky we had such a good period between August and October,” said Jake.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled a four-step plan to release England from lockdown in the House of Commons earlier.

Jake Castleman at The Cock and Bull in Amble,Jake Castleman at The Cock and Bull in Amble,
Jake Castleman at The Cock and Bull in Amble,

It begins with the reopening of schools on March 8 and two people being allowed to meet outdoors.

From March 29, outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households will be allowed along with outdoor sports.

Shops, hairdressers and gyms will reopen on April 12.

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