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James May talks concerns about his pub during pandemic after criticism ‘It’s bothering me'


The Grand Tour star James May, 58, bought half a pub in a village near his home in Swallowcliffe, Wiltshire last year, which is currently closed due to lockdown. Discussing potential new rules he has heard about pubs ropening, the car enthusiast admitted he was concerned for his business.

He explained: “They’re talking about new rules – first pubs could open then they couldn’t open.

“Then you could drink alcohol, but only if you were having a substantial meal, which could be a large scotch egg.

“And then, you had to observe the rule of six, as indeed we did, and now they’re saying pubs are shut, but they could reopen but you might not be able to have a drink, which sort of defeats the object of having a pub to me.”

He went on to say he believes this rumoured potential new rule could be to stop customers getting too drunk and forgetting social distancing rules.

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He joked the issue wouldn’t be a problem in his pub as he had a staff member who would “knock people’s blocks off if they don’t behave properly”.

James went on to discuss criticism he had received about his business.

“A lot of people criticise us and say it’s just a restaurant – it is a bit of a restaurant, it’s not really a drinking pub,” he explained.

“It’s not the sort of place where hundreds of people stand around the bar, but it could be and it is a pub so you can just go there for a beer or a glass of wine.

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“It’s going to be quite difficult to sell the idea to people if you’re going to have a Ribena with your supper.”

According to the Telegraph, reported cabinet discussions suggest that various scenarios have been considered to reopen the hospitality sector safely.

One suggestion reportedly includes pubs being able to open in April as long as they don’t serve alcohol.

Scientific advisers have suggested that the “one metre plus” rule should stay in place if they do reopen.

But, no official plans or rules have been confirmed as of yet.





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