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Coronavirus: South Holland's pubs and clubs hit by national shutdown

A popular Spalding cafe temporarily closed this morning hours before the Government announced its national shutdown of pubs, restaurants, leisure centres, cinemas and gyms.

A number of pubs are offering takeaway menus - some for collection, and some for home delivery - during the coronavirus outbreak and will continue to trade that way.

Businesses spoke to us earlier today - before the Government announcement - and most pubs said they would continue to open until they were ordered to stop.

Library picture: Jane Fletcher and Anna Avery outside Flowers n Things
Library picture: Jane Fletcher and Anna Avery outside Flowers n Things

Jane Fletcher, a partner in Flowers n Things, in Red Lion Street, Spalding, said closing the cafe was “the fairest thing for the customers and staff”.

The shop is having one of its busiest trading times with Mother’s Day but Jane said the team are “withdrawing ourselves and we will have to divert phones”, although business will continue.

She said: “We will play it by ear. We will all come through it, I am sure.”

Matt Clark had predicted a national shutdown was on the way
Matt Clark had predicted a national shutdown was on the way

Prezzo has already closed its chain of restaurants, including the one in Spalding’s Broad Street, while McDonald’s keeps only the drive-thrus open at its restaurants, including Spalding, Long Sutton and Sutterton.

Activ Group had planned to keep its Spalding XO nightclub open tonight and tomorrow with Sunday to be confirmed, and its nearby Imaginarium open from tonight through to Sunday.

Speaking before the announcement, Activ Group boss Matt Clark predicted that a directive to London hospitality businesses to close could come tonight - swiftly followed by other big cities and more rural spots within 10-14 days.

Activ Group had brought in a raft of hygiene measures and Mr Clark said the company did not want to contribute to the pandemic.

Margaret Barnes, company secretary for The Rose and Crown at Holbeach Hurn, said the pub would open until the Government directed them to close but, if ordered to close, they would continue to supply meals.

She said: “We have put a post on Facebook to say that we will do takeaways and home deliveries of food.”

Also speaking before the Government announcment, Nick Williams, landlord of The Horse and Groom in High Street, Holbeach,said: "We are staying open as long as we can."

And Kevin Guyatt, landlord at Mulberry's Bar at The Chequers, in Swan Street, Spalding, said: "We are still open until we are told to close by the Boris man himself."

The Ship in London Road, Long Sutton, was being run on a skeleton staff earlier today, according to landlady Sam Chisolm.

Sam told us: "Saturday was busy, Sunday was busy and then from Monday trade died really bad."

The Anchor Inn, in Bridge Road, Sutton Bridge, is doing takeaways/deliveries of carveries on Wednesday evenings and Sunday lunchtimes.

Manager Reece Garner said: "In the weekdays, we do takeaway services as well."

The George and Angel, in North Street, Crowland, is also doing takeaways and delivering food to the elderly, says pub manager Claire Shaw.

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