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Entertainment and Hospitality premises to close temporarily

INDEPENDENT French restaurant group Bistrot Pierre announced that it will be temporarily closing all of its restaurants until further notice as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic a few days ahead of the Governments order to close.

Nick White, CEO of Bistrot Pierre, said:- "It is with an extremely heavy heart that we have taken the decision to temporarily close our Bistrots as the COVID-19 pandemic develops. This follows the announcement from the Government on Monday, 16 March 2020, stating that the general public should begin to cut out non-essential contact by avoiding enclosed venues such as bars and restaurants. We have been doing everything we can to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our customers, teams and local communities, and at this moment in time we feel that closing our doors is the only option to ensure this. We want to reassure all of our loyal customers that we will be returning after this dreadful crisis, bringing our great, French inspired food and service to all of the communities we've enjoyed serving over the last 25 years. To our customers, we will sincerely miss serving you during this period and thank you for the loyalty you have shown us over the last quarter of a decade. Please be rest assured that we are doing everything possible to look after our teams during these tough and unprecedented times. and we will endeavour to re-open our Bistrots as soon as we are able. Please stay safe, look after each other and we look forward to seeing you in our Bistrots as soon as we can reopen."

This came ahead of the full closure of:- pubs, restaurants, cafes, gyms, cinemas, theatres and leisure centres announced by the Government, on Friday, and tightening travel restrictions and public health advice. It was also announced that McDonald's is now to close all UK Restaurants, changing the firms previous stance to continued to offer takeaway and drive through services. The fast food giant had faced online criticism online before it made the announcement.  Other companies within the Hospitality industry who have already been struggling have been put under even more pressure as many of its workers are often self employed and "gig economy" workers.

On Sunday, 23 March 2020, an Treasury spokesman said the Government had strengthened the safety net for the self employed under universal credit, and was deferring income tax self assessment payments, adding that they will be:- "actively considering further steps on the future."   Are you affected by this gap in the Government's cover?

With tightening travel restrictions to come and the growing pressure on the NHS, many are asking why non-essential shops, like Book Shops, gift shops and other similar shops are still open. The failure to truly cover the self employed has caused lots of problems and could also be putting people at risk, as the Government has still not stepped in to cover those who fall through the gaps. Trade Unions are warning that this will result in people taking unnecessary risks and putting them selves and others at risk, in order to keep afloat. Others are questioning why the likes of Costa Coffee are still open to the public in many places.  What are your views on this? Please email us to:- with your views on this very sensitive matter.

Letters to Editor:- "My thoughts on the world..."

"I have just been up to see my daughter and her family, needed to help with laundry and cleaning etc...

They have a 1 year old, he sadly picked up a bug, not CV19, just the typical - kids get a bug,

I took Ella to the laundrette, there was a lovely lady who assists there, and we chatted as we watched things spin and read the Snow Queen by HCA, Ella can read independently at 5 and loved the book.

Now, this lady, was doing a huge service wash for...

A local hairdresser / beautician... I queried why they were still open, surely in all honesty, and I get the need for pay/cash...

I'm laid off for 10 days, I have no SSP etc, I'm self employed too.

But, surely it's one on one social contact and is guaranteed to swap germs?

And it will, as will supermarkets not constantly cleaning their self service tills - we all touch them in our attempt to distance, it's not going to work if one person leaves the virus for us all is it?

Plus I've not seen one place do the cleaning it yet, as will tattoo parlours, and any other 1 on 1 services.

I truly want us all to get to grips with this pandemic and do what we should.

IF you have a flu jab or asthma or any other lifetime condition, DO NOT go to work, you have been advised not to, why are you?

As it goes, if you pass it on or worse still get it, you are the ones who suddenly die because of underlying health conditions, but through duty or self importance, you went to work.

Then, we come to why are certain and I feel all big chain coffee shops still trading with takeaways, some have doors open to allow entry for takeaways, this is wrong, close the sodding doors, serve through the hatch, it's distancing and, removes contact, plus if the staff have the virus and not yet showing, they'll be passing it to you anyway via the cups…

But the other point here is, the small ones have closed, fully, accepted it and gone home, but the big ones think they have a moral right to keep trading and risking their staff and customers, so, close fully OK. The smaller ones COULD have done hand out take out, but closed, some chains have the drive through, but many are staying open to serve only as takeout, this is profiteering and morally and health wise wrong.

Also, the whole need to go to work or indeed anywhere, I've seen so many people obviously going about 'their business' I'd implore the Govt to stop this with a full curfew like abroad, in our area, Sefton, there are only 7 cases as we type.

But, we do not know how many more will appear and the thing is, by driving to and from higher contact densely staffed workplaces in Liverpool, Manchester and such like, we are bringing it home to kill those you bring it here to kill, your friends and family basically.

The Govt has kindly offered you the waged, a 3 month break on mortgages, so you need less immediate money anyway, also by not commuting, you'll need less too, so 80% of your ₤30K is fine, truly it is, stop working, take the payments, have lie ins and watch your Netflix, and then consider others, which you aren't doing as of yet.

Because we, the others aren't the ones causing the panic buying, it's the more well off, we haven't the money to panic buy with, because we are either on benefits, maybe that's ₤85 a week and you can't buy a lot with that and often get paid monthly and starve in the mean time anyway, certainly if others have been stocking up.

Then the low paid and self employed, the giggers, the freelancers and the zero houred, a lot of us will get ₤95 a week and cannot work, so why are you?

Because, some of us would earn far more than ₤95- IF we could or did go to work…

But we haven't or can't and that is a fact.

So, can you drop down some of your spare pay to us?

I doubt any of you would, because you perceive you've earned it and in many ways, you have, but consider that if we all agreed to raise the minimum to a Universal ₤300 a week for everyone, then we the always less well off gain a lot, you may lose a little, but we all should be as equal as possible, we all die the same way and that maybe sooner than we want it to be.

I have no problem with anyone earning or needing more, of course that's fine too, but think about it, anyone on say ₤50K if you were on ₤45K you would be fine, truly you would, because it's only vanity and status symbolling that's elevated you and you wouldn't or couldn't do the very jobs that are keeping you alive too, I hope you know that much at least.

So, your sacrifice of ₤5K puts ₤100 a week into the system for someone else, they go to ₤200 instead of ₤100 straight away and are much happier and healthier and you really are no worse off.

If you are the 1 thinking your IT skills in Manchester are so vital and bring the virus home to Sefton, you are basically a murderer, because you didn't listen and act as you should, why?

Because if you get it and can't be treated you are dead and no one else may have your skills so your IT company goes bust too, but if you act as we all should and stay home, take 80% of the pay and wait to shop at a distance and watch your TV then all is good.

Once this ends, maybe there will be a change back to what you had as normal, but we'd still have so many homeless, suffering on benefits and low pay and you are back to being a selfish capitalist, don't be, change and be kinder, because if we change and we all end up on ₤300 a week and that includes you, maybe you will want sympathy, and guess what you may not get any.

I've never been political, but I've always observed and thought about things, hearing the nurse in her car so emotionally drained talking about you or others ransacking supermarkets and she is saving lives, was sickening and I didn't cause it, but some of you did.

So, petition for ₤300 a week for us all, you get it too, then if what you do does take you up the ladder, great, but lose one rung to enable many others to go up one too, you should see this, like you should see you do not need to work, there are very few who do need to, by isolating and staying healthy we may all be needed in emergency measures, if we all keep spreading the virus, we will all be ill and die and this will take longer to clear.

Get used to no holiday abroad this year, no Footy, no major sport, that'll save you money and it can go to shop staff, cleaners, dinner ladies, tradesmen, musicians and artists, all of whom are better at what they do than you are, and yes, they can't do what you do either, but, I'd rather have 30 musicians and all on ₤300 a week than 1 IT consultant on ₤9K a month as it goes, earn enough not more, it may make you a better person you know."
Tony Higginson.

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