A PUBLICAN is sceptical about the Government’s plans for lifting lockdown, saying there were still questions to be answered.

Piers Baker is owner of both the Church Street Tavern, Colchester and The Sun Inn, Dedham.

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He said: “Five weeks of only outside trading is a horrible prospect. The unpredictability of the weather, lack of space for some, including Church Street Tavern, will make it impossible to trade profitably.

“When indoor hospitality is permitted from the middle of May, it is positive that the tiers, curfews and food with alcohol have gone. But the key for hospitality will be in what the Chancellor provides in the budget next week.

“Current grants are not sufficient to keep business afloat until mid-May - we have fixed costs while still being closed, we have cost of furlough and for many, the rent issue hasn’t been resolved.

“It is also concerning that while the dates of reopening have been given, confirmation will only arrive a week before.

“This isn’t ideal, particularly for our suppliers. So while we have a road map, I can’t say I’m jumping with joy!”