'Let down' - Landlady's anger after PM refuses to rule out restrictions

The Cellar House landlady Victoria MacDonald wanted to offer a space where people can work with no distractions. 

Victoria MacDonald, landlady of The Cellar House, feels let down after a lack of government guidance. - Credit: Steve Adams

A Norwich landlady says she feels left in limbo after the government refused to rule out restrictions in response to soaring rates of Covid.

Victoria MacDonald, who owns The Cellar House in Norwich and The Old Ram Coaching Inn in Tivetshall St Mary, said there was 'no plan' after prime minister Boris Johnson refused to rule out introducing new Covid restrictions this Christmas.

"It's all unknown - I've got to put a beer order in for New Year's Eve this week and I have no idea what to do," Ms MacDonald said.

"I've got 43 staff across two sites and I don't know what to tell them."

On Monday (December 20), Mr Johnson opted against introducing any new immediate Covid restrictions but said the government 'would not hesitate to take action' and is monitoring the situation 'hour by hour'.

However, Ms MacDonald feels the industry has been 'totally let down' by the lack of a way forward.

The Cellar House, Eaton landlady Victoria MacDonald who has come up with a workstation deal.

Ms MacDonald is a member of the national executive committee of the Campaign For Pubs. - Credit: Steve Adams

"We've had almost two years of this and there's been absolutely no blueprint or guidance," she added.

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"We will keep fighting on because that's what the hospitality sector does."

Ms MacDonald is a member of the national executive committee of Campaign For Pubs.

The group wrote a letter to chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak on Friday, December 17, to call for emergency government financial support.

"There has been no mention of any help at all," she said.

"I don't think we've been thrown under a bus, we've been thrown under an entire fleet."

With no guidance on whether pubs will be allowed to open between the Christmas and New Year period, Ms MacDonald said she will have to delay her stock order for as long as possible.

"We will leave it until the 11th hour because there's no other way around it," she said.

"My team works extremely hard and I'm fighting their corner as are every other employer in the industry for their staff.

"We're still wearing masks and encouraging safety within our pubs - we just need some support."