Martin Devlin, 52, landlord of The Fletcher Moss in Didsbury, Greater Manchester, said shutting them down was “the wrong thing to do”. He added: “I think it’ll happen, but it’ll be the death knell for many. Stock alone will be an issue. Cask ale only has a certain shelf life.
“It’s unfair on Manchester. I know infection rates are rising but this is a safe place for people to drink. Closing pubs will just make matters worse. People will start socialising in homes.
“It will affect customers’ mental health – for some it’s the only contact they have with others.”
Martin said he was gearing up for a busy weekend as the threat of closure hangs over them.
He added: “Everyone is making a mass exodus onto the street at 10pm and the off licences are full. Inside the pub we’re organised – wearing masks, sanitising. We’re the safest environment.”
Grainne de Freitas, 40, who runs the Parrs Wood Inn, hopes any lockdown will be over by Christmas.
The married mum-of-two said: “If a shutdown had to come, I’d prefer it now and have the country more normal before Christmas. If they shut pubs, they need to shut off-licences too.
“Here we wear masks, there’s social distancing. We’re doing more than any other businesses in terms of track and trace. Everything is in place for you to be safe. In people’s houses social distancing won’t happen.
“Whatever happens we are hoping for some support from the Government.”
Dan Algar, 31, assistant manager of the Expo Lounge coffee bar, said trade was brisk with customers abiding by safety rules. He added: “I have my fingers crossed we won’t have to close.”