Drinkers in Nottingham will have to prove they are not from nearby locked-down Leicester when pubs and bars reopen this weekend, according to reports.
The new rule, which would see people having to provide proof of their address with something like a council tax bill, has been introduced amid fears that people from Leicester will travel to its neighbouring city to enjoy a drink on the first day pubs reopen following lockdown, Nottinghamshire Live reported.
While lockdown restrictions have been lifted across England, allowing pubs and bars to reopen for the first time since March, Leicester is currently in a local lockdown due to a surge in coronavirus cases.
The lockdown, announced on Tuesday (June 30), means non-essential shops have had to close and its hospitality businesses cannot open on Saturday alongside the rest of the country.
According to Nottinghamshire live, members of the The Nottingham Hospitality Grafters, an unofficial union of 2,600 hospitality industry staff, raised concerns after Leicester residents were spotted online organising minibuses to take them to Nottingham for a drinking session.
Speaking on behalf of the organisation, Robert Glasby, general manager of the Playhouse Bar and Kitchen, told the newspaper: “I understand these are drastic measures, and in some cases will not be fair, but these are precautions we must take to ensure our city and its people are safe.”
According to the Nottinghamshire Live, pub sessions booked by people from Leicester have already been cancelled by various venues and people will now have to provide proof of address before they are allowed in.
Any ID will have to include proof that the person is from a non-Leicestershire address, and could include a council tax or utility bill or students loan letter – all from within the last month.
Nottingham venues aren’t the only ones concerned that people from Leicester will venture out of the locked-down city in search of a chance to have a drink or meal.
Barnacles Restaurant and Bar Bistro in Hinckley, Leicestershire, said while it is reopening on Saturday it would not be taking any bookings or admitting anyone from the Leicester lockdown area for at least the next two weeks.
In a Facebook post, the restaurant said: “We will also be asking to see a form of photo ID (showing an address) such as a driving licence. This will need to be produced on arrival in the restaurant to double check that addresses are not within the lockdown area.
“Please ensure you bring your photo ID with you. We know this will cause inconveniences and we apologise, but hope everyone understands. (Please don’t be offended)
“We are doing this to ensure the safety of all of our customers and employees as well as following the guidelines set out by the government.”
Police have warned that Saturday – dubbed ‘Super Saturday’ by some – could see pubs and bars as busy as New Year’s Eve.
Tim Clarke, from the Metropolitan Police Federation, warned on Tuesday that the public would be “out in droves” on July 4 and said he feared this weekend “could be anything but a ‘Super Saturday’ for police officers”.
He went on: “The challenges they face this weekend with pubs and restaurants reopening and many people predicted to travel across the country to see family and friends will make this weekend perhaps as busy as policing New Year’s Eve.”
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