Pub will reopen TODAY despite second UK lockdown as defiant owners 'take stand'

THE defiant owners of a pub in the Peak District have vowed to reopen today – despite England's new four-week lockdown coming into force just yesterday.

Nick and Lucy Clowes, who run The Reform Inn in Thorncliffe, near Leek, say they'll "fight tooth and nail" to "take a stand" against the shutdown, which has closed all non-essential businesses.

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And in an emotional four-minute film posted online, they said it's been "heart-breaking" to keep closing the doors of their pub.

The venue is due to reopen at midday – in direct contravention of the new laws, Staffordshire Live reports.

The Government has issued a series of £10,000 fines to those caught breaching lockdown rules.

Punters caught at the bar could also be fined anywhere from £200 to £6,400.

In the social media post, Nick said: “Despite following all the Government guidelines to the best of our ability, we had to close our business that we have put blood, sweat and tears in to grow.

“During the other lockdown, we knew another one was going to come and we thought, 'We are not going to lie down. We are fighting this tooth and nail. Fear is no longer an excuse. We need to do the right thing'."

The couple say they have consulted lawyers working on behalf of small businesses and asked officials for more clarification about why the decision to lockdown again was made.

But Nick said: “We have had no replies whatsoever.

"With that in mind, we are announcing we are going to open our doors at 12pm on Friday, business as usual.

"Lots of businesses will not open again.

"We need to fight this now."

The couple have run the pub since 2014.

Nick previously worked for an electricity company, while Lucy was employed by the NHS.

Lucy said: “This is not a decision we have got to lightly.

"It’s not an easy decision but we have looked at the statistics and data and we feel this is an informed decision.

"We feel now is the time to rise. We are hoping by opening our pub we can empower other small businesses.”

The Peak District was in a tier two area under the previous system.

Residents living in former tier two regions were banned from meeting people from outside their own household or bubble for a pint inside a pub.

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