‘Disappointed doesn’t come close’: Horsham town centre bar owner reacts to lockdown easing delay

A Horsham town centre bar owner has spoken of his disappointment after the scrapping of coronavirus restrictions was delayed by four weeks.

Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 1:18 pm

Graham Hartley, owner of Piries Bar, said ‘disappointment doesn’t come close’ to how he feels after Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed the delay to so-called Freedom Day.

The delay comes among concern over rising case numbers and the spread of the Delta variant – first detected in India – which is understood to be more transmissible than the previously dominant Alpha variant – previously known as the Kent variant.

He added: “It is what it is. We slightly anticipated it might happen.

Graham Hartley, at Piries Bar Horsham Pic Steve Robards SR2010062 SUS-200610-123539001
Graham Hartley, at Piries Bar Horsham Pic Steve Robards SR2010062 SUS-200610-123539001

“It’s not totally unexpected. I’m very, very disappointed. I don’t think it’s justified in relation to the data.”

Graham said extra costs as a result of coronavirus are mounting despite his bar still only being allowed to operate at 40 per cent capacity.

Due to rules only allowing table service his staff costs have increased and Graham said pieces of equipment have needed servicing after the bar was shut for months on end due to lockdown.

He added: “We were hoping that we would be able to generate additional income from being fully operational. Of course that’s now been delayed.

“We just have to hang on in there.”