NOTTINGHAM boozers will demand drinkers show council tax bills to prove they are not from locked down Leicester when pubs reopen on Saturday.
Police have told landlords across the city, which is 30 miles north of Leicester, to prepare for a rush of customers from the city where a local lockdown was imposed on Monday after a spike in new infections.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
Required identification could include council tax bills, utility bills or student loan letters. This must be from within the last month.
Pub sessions pre-booked by Leicester-based punters have already been cancelled by Nottingham boozers.
Robert Glasby, manager of the Playhouse bar and kitchen, said: “I understand these are drastic measures, and in some cases will not be fair, but these are precautions we must take to ensure our city and its people are safe.
“The door staff will be ID-ing everyone who comes in, it doesn’t matter if you are 40 or 50 years old. It’s no ID, no entry.”
Lewis Townsend, head of marketing at Castle Rock, told the Nottingham Post: “We have heard that from Saturday, there are plans for people from Leicester to visit Nottingham for long overdue good times.
“However unfortunately, due to the recently enforced local lockdown, our pubs and bars will not be accepting bookings or walk-ins from anyone within the Leicester lockdown area.
“In-line with government guidelines, we will be taking names and contact details at the door and customers may need to provide ID and postcode information.
“We know this may cause disappointment, but we simply must ensure the safety and well-being of our teams and customers.”
However some landlords believe it will be impossible to prevent drinkers from Leicester visiting Nottingham pubs.
Adam Cropper, one of the owners of the Ned Ludd, told the Daily Mail: “The police have said it is difficult because you can see their postcode on their driving license but you cannot see if they actually live in the lockdown zone.
‘The map of the locked down zone does not allow you to zoom in and check the postcode, so for me, it is impossible to police.”
Another landlord said: “People are not honest. Everybody tells lies.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock tightened restrictions on Leicester and nearby suburbs on Monday, ordering non-essential shops to close and urging people not to travel in or out of the area.
Around 866 people in Leicester were found to have had Covid-19 in the last two weeks.
Almost 3,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the city since the start of the pandemic.
There have been outbreaks at food production facilities.
The decision to impose a local lockdown has left landlords in Leicester, who were preparing to reopen their pubs for ‘Super Saturday’, devastated.
Debbie Murray, 55, was left heartbroken she will not be allowed to open the Star and Garter, which is just a few metres inside the lockdown area.
She said: “I put so much into getting ready, I was getting excited and just finished everything and then to be told there was another two-week lockdown, I just burst into tears.”
Tony Marriott, licensee at the Nags Head in Glenfield, which is inside the local lockdown area, was also left disappointed.
Kim Thornley, landlady of the nearby Railway pub, must also remain shut.
She said: “Gutted to say the least but we have to stay safe.”
Police chiefs in Leicestershire are “thinking about all options” after being asked if roadblocks could be imposed to enforce the lockdown in Leicester.
Commenting on whether people might try to leave the city, Mr Cole said: “I think you’d have to be pretty daft if you needed a pint so much that you breached the lockdown.
“This is a serious public health risk. Do you want to bring that illness into contact with your mates or your family? Certainly I wouldn’t want to do that.
“We do work really closely with all the neighbouring forces – we’ve been communicating with them so they can understand – and of course, for us as a force, we’ve got two bits of legislation ongoing at the same time.
“So we will have the national move which will be taking place in some of the force area but not in the rest of it, so I’d really implore people: some of the leading health experts in the country are saying stay at home and that seems pretty shrewd advice to me.”
Brits hit with ‘Covid tax’ in pubs as they arrive in Spain after lockdown
Pubs REFUSE to open on ‘Super Saturday’ over fears they cannot operate safely
ON THE BRINK
36 hotspot areas warned they may face virus lockdown in DAYS as cases rise
TAKE THE BISCUIT
Viewers in stitches after toddlers crash interviews demanding biscuits
ROYAL NAME DROP
Meghan Markle names Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie in explosive court docs
Meanwhile holiday parks, hotels and campsites have announced bans on Leicester residents.
Tracy Jebbett, 50, a child protection worker from West Knighton in Leicester, had been due to visit Pentewan Sands holiday park, near St Austell in Cornwall, on July 11 for her two-week annual holiday with her husband Martin, an NHS maintenance controller, and their 17-year-old daughter Jessica.
Mrs Jebbett said that the ban had made her feel like a “Leicester leper”.
She said: “Earlier in the lockdown we had resigned ourselves to not going on holiday and then we were told the campsites were opening up and then Leicester got lock downed again. It’s very demoralising.”
CORONAVIRUS CRISIS – STAY IN THE KNOW
Don’t miss the latest news and figures – and essential advice for you and your family.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .