Monday, March 23, 2020


Many Brigg people spent an unusual weekend at home, being unable to enjoy a restaurant meal or visit local pubs due to the government's blanket UK closure implemented from midnight on Friday (March 20) in an effort to stem the spread of the Coronavirus.
Those of us used to venturing out to socialise were confined to barracks, to use a forces' term, on Saturday and Sunday.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's closure announcement came on Friday afternoon, not giving licensees and restaurateurs much notice, although some sensed it was coming.
In terms of bars, Brigg saw a staggered closure on Friday evening - the Britannia, Yarborough Hunt, Black Bull and Wetherspoon's bolting their doors before the Dying Gladiator, the Woolpack, the Lord Nelson and the Exchange.
There's no indication how long the ban on pubs and restaurants will last; this will be dictated by the virus and the effectiveness of the measures put in place to halt its spread.
Hopefully, the government will be able to lift the restrictions before May 8 when major celebrations are planned in Brigg to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day. In 1945 that was the end of the Second World War in Europe, although not against Japan in the Far East.
If the ban is still in place on May 8, Sarah Hardy - landlady of the Woolpack and chairman of Brigg & District Pub Watch - is already calling for a one night only temporary relaxation so VE Day events can go ahead.
Not all pubs will want to do this, and some may not have the necessary stock to hand, although bottled drinks will go down as well as pumped varieties for one day.
With VE Day celebrations taking place across the UK, it won't be long before the government is called upon to look at this issue.
But clearly the Prime Minister and his colleagues have much more urgent matters on their plate at the moment.
Takeaways are being allowed to trade as normal, and some of our sit-down restaurants and eateries already offer this service.
Others can now opt to follow suit, with 'change of use' planning regulations being waived during the current emergency.
Please do your best  to favour Brigg businesses with your custom during what is going to be a tough time.

PICTURED: Brigg's most used pub/restaurant - J D Wetherspoon's White Horse - shortly after it closed its doors to customers to comply with the government's ban on licensed premises.

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