Third Hastings bar closes due to Covid-19 case: owner calls for answers

A third bar in Hastings has been forced to close after a customer tested positive for Covid-19.

Monday, 7th September 2020, 4:41 pm
Updated Monday, 7th September 2020, 4:44 pm
Owl and Pussycat Lounge, in Robertson Street. Picture: Google

The Owl and Pussycat Lounge, in Robertson Street, joins Bat and Bee and The Dragon Bar in shutting after customers tested positive for the virus.

Owner Glen Reddy said a customer who had drank at his bar told him of their positive case earlier today (Monday, September 7).

However, he said he has not heard from the local authority and has not been ordered to close, but made the decision in order to protect his staff and customers.

He added: "I don't really understand. Nobody from the local authority has contacted me about these positive cases but we have to close to protect people.

"I'm now in the process of trying to organise tests for myself and my 12 members of staff. Closing the bar puts their jobs at risk. I still have bills to pay, they still have bills to pay but what else can we do?

"People are in and out of bars in Hastings. If one person has it and visits loads of bars and shops, do we have to close half of Hastings?"

Hastings Borough Council praised the owner of The Dragon Bar for taking steps to close.

Mr Reddy said nobody from the council had spoken to him but he felt he had to close after speaking to one of his customers.

He urged the local authority to open a local testing centre to deal with increasing numbers of cases in the town.

"We've gone from pretty much zero cases to three bars being forced to close," Mr Reddy said. "We're trying to be responsible but we need support. When we first closed, we had the furlough scheme to cover us but now we're open we don't have that support."

Mr Reddy said the closure of his bar has meant a number of bookings for this week have also been cancelled.

He could not say when the bar would reopen due to the issue in booking tests for his staff members.

Hastings Borough Council has been approached for comment.