The beginning of Tier 2 restrictions was met with huge relief by many in the hospitality sector, but for some pubs and clubs the rules remain crippling for business.
The national lockdown has come to an end and the Government announced last week that the Liverpool City Region would be able to see restaurants, salons, cinemas, theatres and more reopen their doors from today.
But the rules still mean, pubs and bars in our region will have to close unless they operate as restaurants and customers are only served alcohol with substantial meals.
At the beginning of October, the ECHO spoke to pubs and other hospitality businesses in Knowsley who said they were 'devastated' at the thought of a possible closure.
We caught up with a number of the businesses in the borough to hear their thoughts on the Liverpool City Region's latest restrictions.
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"There’s a lot of pubs that are getting into food, but it’s not right for us"
Located on High Street, Prescot, The Bard is a Shakespeare inspired micropub which sells real ales, craft beers, ciders and gins all from around the Merseyside region.
The business, which opened in 2018, decided to close its doors in October prior to the confirmation of Tier 3 restrictions being imposed on pubs at the time and will remain closed.
John Marsden, who runs the Bard and Melwood Brewery, said: "The Bard as a business, we’re not opening in Tier 2 at all. We’re basically a wet pub, all our business is craft beer and ale and we can't do any meals that are substantial.
"We could give customers packets of crisps or nuts but that’s it, we don’t have a kitchen to work with.
"There’s a lot of pubs that are getting into food, but it’s not right for us."
John said the business made no plans in advance to reopen as he suspected it wouldn't be possible.
He said for the business to operate at it's usual capacity prior to the pandemic, there would have to be no Tiers in place, as they usually welcome many regular customers or Prescot Cables supporters after games.
John said: "We’ve come out of lockdown and into a Tier that doesn't work for us so essentially we’re still in lockdown.
"We had a feeling that when we’d becoming out of lockdown we’d be in Tier 2 because of what happened in Liverpool with the testing and the decrease in the numbers and the hospitalisations."
"Christmas without the club for us won't feel like Christmas"
St Aloysius Social Club has welcomed generation after generation of loyal Huyton customers for decades.
Club Secretary Dan Oakes said the committee considered how they would be able to offer substantial meals, but like many others, they don't have the finances to support it or time on their side.
He said: "We’re not open because were not a food outlet, so nothing has changed for us unfortunately. Tier 2 is essentially the old Tier 3, but they've beefed it up a little bit.
"People are saying can't you operate to do food, but clubs are saying they haven't got money to kit out the kitchen. If it was as easy to be putting sausage rolls in the oven we’d all be doing it.
"We’ve made the changes, we've done everything that's been asked of us, but still we’re being denied making a living."
Dan said going to a pub or social club isn't about "downing 10 pints a night" and that they are vital places that offer support and tackle loneliness in the community.
He said: "We were gutted and everyone will be gutted because of Christmas.
"This place has been here for about 60 years. People who don't go out would come here at Christmas, people come back home from abroad to be with family .
"A lot of our members are widowers and don't have any family so they come to the club to talk to people. Christmas without the club for us won't feel like Christmas."
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"We don't want to put the business in jeopardy"
In August Peter Boardman, owner of Derby Pubco Ltd, got the keys to the Derby Arms pub in Knowsley Village, which has been shut since the previous tenant decided to leave when the first lockdown began.
Peter said despite new restrictions, the circumstances for the business hasn't changed and that it was "an economic decision" for the pub to continue operating how it is currently to protect its future, as well as staff and customers.
He said: "The easiest way for me to put it for us nothing has changed. Regulations when we were in Tier 3 are the same in Tier 2 for us in hospitality.
"You've got to operate as a restaurant, it's table service only and to order anything to drink you've got to have substantial meal. For us nothing will change unless we get brought into Tier 1."
Peter said the business is constantly looking at ways to open and that he was pleased with the Tier 2 decision for the area, but also sympathises with other pubs who can't offer food.
He said: "First of all I was elated for the local area, it shows that what people are doing is working and people are taking the regulations seriously.
"But from a business point of view it didn't make a difference to us. My initial feeling was I was made up for the area but gutted for businesses like us."