Tommy Sussex

It was decided last Friday, the 21st of March 2020, that venues in London, U.K should temporarily close. By early afternoon, emerging scientific evidence suggested that it needed to be a nationwide shutdown.

The closure of pubs appeared to be the latest example of the government attempting to catch up with events as they unfolded. A ban on mass gatherings was announced on the same day, after many events and concerts had been cancelled. Announcing the decision in the fight against the coronavirus, the prime minister said he realised “that this goes against the inalienable free-born right of people born in England to go to the pub”.

Thankfully, the initial fears of pub landlords and business owners were appeased when Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled a £350 Billion coronavirus bailout. On the 17th March, The Government announced its plans to offer businesses loans of up to £5 Million as well as three-month mortgage holidays and no rates for pubs and restaurants for a year.

Prior to the shutdown, photographer Tommy Sussex spent time at the infamous “The Queen’s Head” pub in Piccadilly Circus in London. It was on this day, the pwners took the heartbreaking decision to close for business and board up the pub indefinitely. Joe the Landlord, who has run the pub for several years said ‘We’ve only shut the pub for three days in the last eight years, this is an historic situation for us as a business’.

 

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