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Covid-19: Shropshire pub's concerns over effects of Welsh lockdown
Covid-19: Shropshire pub's concerns over effects of Welsh lockdown

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The landlady of a pub on the English-Welsh border has said she is braced for a drop in trade when Wales enters
its "firebreak" lockdown on Friday.

Tracey Jones took over The Bridge Inn in Shropshire on 14 October, and said most of her customers come from
nearby Chirk, in Wrexham County Borough.

Shropshire is in tier one of England's restrictions system, affording it the most freedom.

But customers from Wales will soon be unable to visit, according to rules.

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For 17 days, from 18:00 BST on Friday, people in Wales are being told to stay at home. Pubs, restaurants,
hotels and non-essential shops will shut, throughout the lockdown.

Chirk is the nearest town to The Bridge Inn, less than half a mile away, and Ms Jones says the wider pandemic
has already hit takings.

"When we came in, prior to all of this, the pub was doing relatively well. There has been a huge decline in takings,
but that can only get better, I am hoping," she said.

"I am very apprehensive, I am nervous that we're not going to make any money at all."

The pub will be relying on passing canal boat trade, Ms Jones said.

"That is provided that they've stopped their boats on the Shropshire side and not the Welsh side, because if
they stop it on the Welsh side they cannot walk down to us," she added.

"It is very difficult being so close to the border and relying on the people from Chirk, our locals every week,
and knowing they are not going to be able to come here."

Ms Jones also said it would be hard to police where customers were coming from, but the Welsh Government
said the legal obligation fell on people living in Wales not to travel to a pub, and that Welsh police and local
authorities had the power to enforce the rules.

West Mercia Police, which covers Shropshire, also said it would be working to support those on the border.

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