Last Orders? Bars packed in Newcastle as restrictions tighten

In fear of pubs closing, Newcastle residents have flooded the streets to take advantage of pubs and restaurants.

Kayleigh Fraser
20th October 2020
Pubs and clubs remained busy ahead of the Prime Minister's announcement of new restrictions on Monday 12 October

On the weekend of 9 October, Newcastle streets were packed with students due to the uncertainty surrounding the possibility of pubs and restaurants closing down. 

Saturday saw drinkers making the most of the 10pm curfew as new rules around coronavirus could cause complete closures of bars across the region.

With the North East already subject to stricter rules banning socialisation between households, it was expected by many that the hospitality sector could face a four week lockdown. 

However, on Monday the Prime Minister outlined a new ‘three tiered’ system. The new system, categorised by medium, high, and very high, places local areas under specific lockdown measures to minimise the spread of coronavirus. 

The North East, including Newcastle, was placed under the ‘high’ alert. Under these rules, socialising between households is still banned, and the 10pm curfew for pubs and bars continues to stay in place. 

Many have criticised the government’s new system including Labour Party member Lisa Nandy who stated: "I haven’t felt anger like this towards the government since I was growing up here in the 1980s".

This anger and confusion spreads to North East locals, as many feel abandoned by the government and uncertain of the new rules. Twitter user @lmcg1978 said: "When will this be reviewed? I would not like to think this time next week the decision is changed just as people are packing bags ready to go away and then last minute being told - you can't go!"

Another local said through Twitter (@38_mags): "Newcastle is still in high alert when rates of COVID are going down now. Unlike Burnham for Manchester, I can see Nick Forbes bowing down to Boris here. Geordies voted Labour so we didn't have a Tory ruining our lives here."

With the rule of 6, students can still enjoy trips to the pub bearing in mind they are part of the same household.

Many promoters, like Loosedays, are still holding weekly events in Newcastle, evidently suggesting the social dynamic of students is unbroken. As cases rise again and hospitality remains open, students and locals alike continue to take advantage of the bars and pubs in the city.

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AUTHOR: Kayleigh Fraser
Campus Comment Sub Editor for 2021/22 and Head of News at NSR. English Literature Student heavily obsessed with politics, bath and body works and making positive change. Also slightly infatuated with iced coffee, guinea pigs, my dog and binging The Simpsons.

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