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Pub bars drinkers under 26 over coronavirus cases – before brutal backlash
September 10, 2020
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A pub barred drinkers under the age of 26 after a dramatic rise in coronavirus cases – before the landlady received a severe backlash.
The Oddfellows Arms in Sherburn-in-Elmet, north Yorkshire, said it will refuse to serve those aged between 18 and 25, Hull Live reported.
A third of all cases reported in England last week were between people aged 20-29, and Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned the UK could face a second wave if they do not follow social distancing guidelines.
In a statement on Facebook which has since been deleted, the pub said: “In light of recent events and an escalation in cases we are now not serving anyone in the age bracket 18-25.
"We have thought about this very carefully, we will continue to try and ensure our community, customers and staff are all kept safe in these difficult times.
"Before anyone tries to say we are wrong, think of the implications for us as a business.
"This is not where we want to be. We would rather have a safe environment than a place which is teetering on the risk of closure. Please see that we are acting for everyone's best intentions at this time.
"We have some of the most amazing well mannered, well-behaved customers in that age bracket, but we simply cannot take the risk.
"As soon as we feel safe to do so we will ensure everyone knows. Thank you for understanding."
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Landlady Maggie Holmes said she faced a raft of abuse after the post, leaving her a “nervous wreck”.
She got phone calls from people in Essex and Newcastle, with people wishing her dead and hoping the business never recovered.
Other people who had never been to the pub left negative reviews online.
Mrs Holmes, who runs the pub with husband Darren, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: "We are just trying to keep people safe.
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"There have been three outbreaks in and around the village.
"I don't want to close again – we had four months of no income."
Most customers are over the age of 30 but there are some younger visitors around the weekends, Mrs Holmes added.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a series of new coronavirus restrictions yesterday, due to be enforced on Monday, September 14.
Social gatherings of more than six people will be banned, hospitality business will be legally required to take customers' details, and measures at the border will be stepped up to monitor quarantine rules.