Worcestershire pubs, restaurants and party venues face ‘make or break’ Covid Christmas


Worcestershire HOSPITALITY businesses are bracing for a ‘make or break’ Christmas season amid fears that an increase in Covid cases is hitting the industry.

Christmas parties are booked on calendars at venues across the county, but there are fears that if Covid cases increase these events could be canceled, leaving pubs and restaurants dry at their most important time of year. the year.

Nigel Smith, who runs Cardinal’s Hat in Worcester and Fleece Inn in Bretforton, said preparations are going smoothly for Christmas, but they are bracing for any eventuality.

He said: “It’s Christmas that passes or breaks – because January is a long old month.

“We are all just happy to be open after last Christmas, so we are really looking to increase the festive activities we organize at Le Chapeau et à la Toison.

“In terms of bookings, both places look really solid, probably the best we’ve had since 2019.

“That being said, we are preparing for an increase in cases and are doing what we can to keep everyone safe.”

Mr Smith added that bookings for the Christmas holidays at the office were slightly lower than they usually would be at this time of year, but said he and his staff were “optimistic” and looked forward to the release. holiday season.

Venues like the Worcestershire County Cricket Club and Sixways Stadium regularly host dozens of office Christmas parties and large gatherings each year.

A spokesperson for the Worcester Warriors said the club continued to make Sixways a safe place to go, urging people not to come if they are showing symptoms of Covid.

They said: ‘As a club we are following government and Public Health England guidelines on COVID and have measures in place to ensure all Sixways visitors and staff are safe.

“We haven’t had to cancel any rugby matches due to Covid-19 and our events program has gradually returned as the latest Covid-19 program allowed.

“Over the past week we have successfully hosted three matches: the Modus Cup with 3,000 spectators, Warriors vs. Bristol Bears with over 6,000 spectators and England Women with 7,500 spectators.

“We’re about to open Skate at Sixways – an outdoor rink – and have a busy Christmas party schedule starting this weekend.

“We have a German-style outdoor Kristmausfest on Friday and Saturday this week.

“We know that Covid has not gone away and so we remain vigilant. Anyone who visits or works at the stadium and has any of the symptoms of COVID should not come to Sixways and should take a lateral flow test and, if necessary, a PCR test. ”

Before Christmas, the government advised people to take a lateral flow test before heading to crowded places like malls or hospitality venues.

Adam Giagnotti, who runs the Olive Branch restaurant in the city, also said reservations were strong, with people wanting to get back to normal after Christmas was ruined by Covid last year.

He added: “We are all getting ready for Christmas now, this last week of November is very busy for us as we are doing all our orders for the Christmas market.

“We’re all relieved to be able to reopen, especially knowing that everything can be removed if the restrictions come back.

“We are fortunate that our reservations and sales are good enough that we don’t need Christmas to be a turning point.”

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