Blackpool’s Big One rollercoaster has remained open despite the the introduction of Tier Three coronavirus restrictions for Lancashire today.
Guests were pictured riding the rollercoaster while wearing face masks, as others continued to enjoy the seaside town’s Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
But B&B owners have said the new restrictions are a ‘kick in the teeth’, with guests cancelling bookings following the new restrictions.
October is traditionally one of the busiest periods for the seaside town as crowds flock to see the Blackpool Illuminations during the school half-term holidays, local business owners said.
They fear the new Covid-19 measures will drive tourists away, despite some of the attractions remaining open.
Blackpool’s Big One rollercoaster (pictured today) has remained open despite the the introduction of Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions for Lancashire today
October is traditionally one of the busiest periods for the seaside town as crowds flock to see the Blackpool Illuminations during the school half-term holidays, but B&B owners said the new restrictions are a ‘kick in the teeth’, as guests cancel bookings following the new restrictions
Adam Mayes, who runs the 10-bedroom Phoenix Guest House on Cocker Street, said the restrictions were a ‘kick in the teeth’ for B&B owners.
He said: ‘Since Tier 3 was announced, we have already lost £500-worth of bookings for the next two weeks.
‘Half-term for us is usually our busiest week of the whole year, and now we are down to just six bookings.
‘So now we are considering closing for the remainder of the year because it does not feel worthwhile to remain open. It’s a bit bleak.’
B&B owners fear the new Covid-19 measures will drive tourists away, despite some of the attractions remaining open. Pictured: A staff member at Blackpool Pleasure Beack wears a facemask and visor today
B&B owners have said the new restrictions are a ‘kick in the teeth’, with guests cancelling bookings following the new restrictions. Pictured: A digital billboard displays Covid-19 information in Blackpool today
Mr Mayes said many prospective guests were under the impression that Blackpool was now ‘closed’ due to the new restrictions.
But he claimed that some pubs will be serving sit-down meals, meaning they can remain open, while the illuminations will stay switched on until January 3.
Around 1.5 million people in Lancashire are now living under the most severe coronavirus controls, with pubs and bars required to close unless they can serve meals and indoor mixing banned.
Liverpool was the only area to be immediately put into Tier 3, the highest level, on Monday with Manchester, Newcastle and Birmingham among cities being ranked as Tier 2, or ‘high’ risk.
Around 1.5 million people in Lancashire are now living under the most severe coronavirus controls, with pubs and bars required to close unless they can serve meals and indoor mixing banned. Pictured: Customers get their temperature checked before they enter Blackpool Tower today
But the Government reached an agreement with Lancashire, which has now joined Liverpool in the top bracket.
Labour’s council leaders in Lancashire said they had been forced to accept the measures, with South Ribble’s Paul Foster saying they were ‘blackmailed’ and Blackpool’s Lynn Williams adding they had ‘no option’ to agree, as they secured an extra £30million of funding.
Under Tier 3 rules pubs have closed unless they serve food and alcohol as part of a sit-down meal, while stricter restrictions on socialising will also come into force.
People are not able to mix with others in any indoor setting or private garden, as well as in most outdoor hospitality venues.
Casinos, bingo halls, bookmakers, betting shops, soft play areas and adult gaming centres have also been forced to shut, while car boot sales are also banned.
Residents in ‘high alert’ level areas can travel to hotels, but should only do so with their own household or support bubble, according to Government advice.
Stewart Norris, owner of the Sutton Park B&B on Woodfield Road, Blackpool, said he had lost about £1,500 in bookings since the measures were announced.
He said: ‘For this weekend, next weekend and the weekend after, we are looking at eight cancellations of different groups of guests.
‘On a Saturday night in October we would normally be fully booked with families and couples, but instead we have two double rooms arriving tonight, and that’s only because their travel agent won’t refund them.’
Mr Norris, whose B&B has 10 rooms, said he had managed to move some bookings to next year as guests had ‘given up on 2020’.
B&B owner Adam Mayes said many prospective guests were under the impression that Blackpool was now ‘closed’ due to the new restrictions
Meanwhile, Kerry Humphries, licensee of The Mitre pub, said she had to temporarily close on Friday as her premises did not have a ‘major food menu’.
She said: ‘To be fair, our brewery Star Pubs and Bars said pubs which have shut down completely don’t have to pay rent. Without that we would be pulling our hair out.
‘The issue is that they (the Government) have put us into Tier 3, but I have not seen anywhere how long that could last for.’
Blackpool Council leader Lynn Williams said in a statement: ‘No leader wants to see their town, its people, its businesses and its economy under such measures but that is now the reality of the situation and we will do everything we can to support our residents through this extremely challenging time.’