Cornwall Police Will Hold Back Hoard of Thirsty Anglos Seeking Beer After Lockdown

A pedestrian walks past an image of a 1930s protest against prohibition depicting protestors holding "We Want Beer" placards, outside a pub in Liverpool, north west England on October 14, 2020, as new local lockdown measures come in to force to help stem a second wave of the novel coronavirus …
PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

Police in the south-west of England will be patrolling Cornwall when it goes under Tier 1 restrictions on Wednesday after reports that thirsty Englishmen may be on their way to Cornish pubs to sup without being subject to strict Tier 2 coronavirus rules.

Cornwall — which while part of England, sees itself as culturally distinct like other Celtic communities in the British Isles like Wales — is one of a very small number of places not to be thrust into strict coronavirus measures after the lockdown ends on midnight on Wednesday. Only Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly, and the Isle of Wight are under the lowest Tier 1, with 99 per cent of the rest of England under the stricter Tiers 2 and 3.

While a relatively light-touch approach will be enforced in Tier 1 areas, drinkers will not be able to buy alcohol in pubs in Tier 2 without ordering a “substantial meal”, while all pubs must close in Tier 3 unless they can also operate as a takeaway, leading the Cornish to fear hoards of Anglos breaking out of their coronavirus zones to drink freely in the Celtic county.

Devon and Cornwall Police, the force Cornwall shares with the ‘English’ Devon — which, like much of the rest of England has been thrust under Tier 2 restrictions — confirmed that it had brought on a fleet of ten extra cars “solely used for Covid-related matters”, with The Telegraph reporting they will be used to deter drinkers travelling to Cornish pubs where they can buy alcohol without ordering food.

“Our policing approach from those working within these vehicles is the same as our wider approach, and that is to engage, explain and encourage people to comply, and as a last resort consider enforcement via a fixed penalty notice,” a force spokesman said on Monday.

The newspaper reports that Cornish landlords and landladies are already fielding calls from English patrons in Devon who said they are getting ready to pop across the border for a pint.

“We do think people are going to be jumping over the border and we might have to put on extra staff to make sure everybody is sticking to the rules,” Craig Howe of The Rising Sun said.

Pub owners in Cornwall did, however, express relief last week when they found out they were in Tier 1, fearing the devastation caused to their businesses if tight restrictions were imposed. However, the rest of the country will see its public houses forced under limited trading rules, with industry experts warning in recent months that continued lockdowns and coronavirus rules will result in thousands of permanent pub closures.

Just on Monday, Wales, a country to the north of Cornwall, banned selling alcohol for at least the next three weeks, a move condemned by industry bosses.


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