A couple in Yorkshire have been left baffled by Covid rules which has marked their home in Tier 2 but their garden in Tier 3.
Sheila Herbert, 74, lives with her husband Philip on Riverside Park, Otley, in Yorkshire. Their home is in Harrogate, in Tier 2, and their garden is technically in Leeds, which is under Tier 3.
In the West Midlands, The Old Hare and Hounds, in Rednal, falls into a Tier 3 area so cannot legally open.
But Joe Joe Jims bar next door is allowed to serve customers because it’s in a Tier 2 area as it falls in Worcestershire.
The boundary between the two counties lies directly between the two pubs.
A couple whose home is in a different tier to their garden (pictured, Sheila and Philip Herbert) and one pub forced to remain shut while standing just metres apart from another that can open have left people baffled by the latest Covid rules
Sheila Herbert, 74, lives with her husband Philip (pictured together) on Riverside Park, Otley, in Yorkshire
The quiet cul-de-sac in the picturesque market town is divided between West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire.
While most of the homeowners on the street pay their taxes to Harrogate Borough Council, a small collection of eight houses at the bottom end of Riverside Park fall under Leeds City Council’s remit.
Those paying council tax to Harrogate are in Tier 2 and those paying taxes to Leeds are in Tier 3.
Two pubs that stand just five metres apart have been forced into different tiers meaning one can open but the other must stay shut. Pictured: Joe Joe Jims bar (left) is allowed to open but the Old Hare and Hounds (right) has been forced to shut
And when the postcode of the Old Hare and Hounds is typed into the Government tier-checking website it even states that the area should be in Tier 2.
Ms Herbert said: ‘Our house is in Harrogate and our garden is in Leeds. The culvert cuts right through my garden.
‘In fact, it goes right underneath the corner of the conservatory. When we’re in the conservatory we’re in Harrogate, but when we’re in the garden we’re in Leeds. It’s almost one toe in each county when we’re stepping outside.’
She added: ‘My next-door neighbour pays her council tax to Leeds and we pay our council tax to Harrogate.
‘Officially, my neighbours are in Tier 3 and we’re in Tier 2. That’s the big thing. It’s ludicrous. I’ve just been to Sainsbury’s in Otley, which is in Tier 3. I’m not really officially meant to have gone into Tier 3 am I? But what am I supposed to do?
‘My daughter lives in Otley – ”real” Otley – so officially she can’t come and see me, but she’s in my bubble. It’s a nightmare. Every time new announcements are made, I just think ”Am I breaking the rules?”.
‘It’s all one big conundrum, but I’m just being sensible.’
The ‘crazy’ rules have sparked a backlash amongst regular pub customers in the West Midlands.
One customer, a regular at the Old Hare and Hounds, told The Sun: ‘We are a driveway apart from each other but it’s like we are living in a different world.
‘It seems to make no sense at all. How can it be safe to drink in one pub but not next door?’
Another said: ‘It makes zero sense… It’s five metres, madness.’
The Old Hare and Hounds, in Rednal, west Midlands, falls into a Tier 3 area so cannot legally open
But Joe Joe Jims bar next door is allowed to serve customers because it’s in a Tier 2 area as it falls in Worcestershire
The pub wrote on their Facebook page: ‘ As you are all probably aware due to being placed into Tier 3 last week, we will unfortunately not be opening this Wednesday and will stay closed until current restrictions are lifted’
And when the postcode of the Old Hare and Hounds is typed into the Government tier-checking website it even states that the area should be in Tier 2
And the new rules have forced the Old Hare and Hounds to give refunds to customers for Christmas Bookings.
The pub wrote on their Facebook page: ‘ As you are all probably aware due to being placed into Tier 3 last week, we will unfortunately not be opening this Wednesday and will stay closed until current restrictions are lifted.
‘Let us assure you all we are getting the pub ready and will open swiftly when allowed.’
Diners will be able to eat al fresco outside central London restaurants for next six months
Diners will be able to eat in al fresco outside central London restaurants for the next six months, it was revealed today.
Pubs and restaurants in the capital will be allowed to reopen tomorrow under Tier 2 coronavirus rules, along with much of the rest of the country.
Diners will be allowed to eat together as long as there are a maximum of six people sat with each other and everyone in the group is from the same support bubble or household if sat inside.
And Westminster Council has announced the new rules allowing groups to eat al fresco in groups of up to six in mixed households from tomorrow will be continued for a further six months.
Council leader Rachael Robathan, said the scheme, which allows venues to provide ‘pop up’ dining areas in streets, would be an important way of supporting the hospitality industry.
She said: ‘We have 3,700 restaurants, pubs and bars in central London and they help to support around 80,000 jobs.
‘Hospitality is a big employer for us and while the sector faces another tough few months under tier two restrictions, at least we can support those venues who can offer outside space.’
At the same time, Westminster City Council has launched a ‘shop safe’ campaign, which emphasises measures the authority has taken to make the streets as safe as possible.
These include widening pavements, installing 7 miles (11km) of cycle lanes, social distance signage and hand sanitiser stations across the City.
A social media campaign being launched by Westminster City Council on Wednesday will underline the safety messages.
It comes as yesterday a row deepened over whether a scotch egg can be classed as a ‘substantial meal’ under rules only allowing alcohol to be served with food from today.
Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove told LBC two scotch eggs would be ‘a starter’, 24 hours after Environment Secretary George Eustice said one is a substantial meal.
Mr Gove reiterated his stance on LBC in a second interview on Good Morning Britain yesterday – before backtracking and then telling ITV News: ‘A scotch egg is a substantial meal.’
The confusion came after the Government said people going into Tier 2 from today will have to have a ‘substantial meal’ to allow them to buy a pint.
The law says a substantial meal is ‘might be expected to be served as breakfast, the main midday or main evening meal, or as a main course at such a meal’.
Some pubs have now brought out new menus, with one offering a ‘Boris Menu’ of £1.99 meals – while Wetherspoon has launched a new breakfast muffin range.
Landlords accused the Government of providing ‘no clarity’ on the substantial meal rule.
One Essex pub has launched a new £1.99 simplified food menu so that customers can enjoy alcoholic drinks, but do not have to spend lots of money or have a large meal.
Named ‘The Boris Menu’, The Kings Head in Gosfield is offering plates such as a hotdog and chips; baked beans on toast with cheese; and cheeseburger and chips.
Pub owner Matthew Arnold, 38, told Essex Live: ‘Every time a new regulation is implemented it incurs a lot of time and cost for pubs to abide.
‘It’s the frustration that prompted the menu idea initially at the same time as catering for customers that don’t necessarily want a large and costly meal each time they want to visit us.’
Meanwhile the Wetherspoon pub chain has launched a new breakfast menu ahead of tomorrow’s reopening, include a muffin range and reducing the price of coffee and tea to 99p.
Customers can choose from four new breakfast muffins – egg and bacon; egg and sausage; breakfast (with bacon and sausage); and egg and cheese.
In Worcester, one pub is teaming up with a fish and chip shop in order to stay open under Tier 2 rules.
Mark and Debie Daniels, of The Brewers Arms, which has no kitchen, has partnered with Nick Zipiti of St John’s Fish Bar, according to Worcester News.
It means The Brewers Arms can keep pulling pints – which they would be otherwise unable to do without serving a substantial meal alongside.
The pub will operate around the chip shop’s usual hours and customers will be asked to order food at the bar before being able to buy a drink.
Mr Daniels told the paper: ‘This partnership has allowed us to open again as we do not have a kitchen on site. We went to the council and they were impressed with the idea and allowed us to operate in this way for now. I am really pleased.’