Heron Inn, Malpas closes doors over Covid tier rule breakers

A POPULAR waterside pub says it is being forced to close its doors because of too many customers from outside the county not sticking to the rules.

The Heron Inn at Malpas has posted on Facebook saying it is being forced to close temporarily because too many customers from tiers three and four were trying to find loopholes to get around Covid rules.

They said they no longer feel they can keep their staff or their customers safe in this situation.

The post on Facebook said: “Covid is real, and it’s on our doorstep. Sadly we’ve had too many customers from Tiers 3 & 4 attempting to find a loophole or way around the strict rules and guidelines. We now feel that we cannot keep our staff and customers safe in this situation. We will not break the rules. We will not put anyone at risk.

“At 3pm today (Dec 29 ) we will temporarily close ours doors for a short period of time until we feel it is safe to re-open, we sincerely apologise to everyone who has upcoming bookings.

“Thank you to all our customers who have stuck to the rules, and have supported us during this awful time, you have all been amazing, we look forward to welcoming you back to our lovely pub very soon.

To our amazing, dedicated family team, we will get through this safely, with every single one of you by our side.”

Landlord Nick Hemmings told the Packet it was a shame they were being forced to close temporarily, but the Heron was in a very good position and would reopen with a bang soon.

“The safety of my staff and my customers is the ultimate reason,” he said. “There are a lot of cases in Cornwall and I don’t want someone to get it and me be forced to close because of Covid rules. It’s our own decision because of people coming here from tiers 3 and 4, they are here and there are hundreds of them.

He said many would give false postcodes which, because of their robust checking system through payment, they were able to confirm the customers real address and refuse to serve them. Refunding them and sending them home. He said people from different tiers were also using the names of local people.

“The amount of abuse we get when we do that is unbelievable,” said Mr Hemmings. I’ve got to think of the safety of my fantastic team.”

Mr Hemmings said he is going to look at the situation on a week to week basis and when they feel safe will reopen again.

Customers have been supportive of the decision.

Ellie Watkins wrote: “As a local resident I have so, so much respect for you, your business and this decision.

“I cannot imagine how hard this decision was and it reflects what an important part of our community you are.

“We will be supporting you into the future and look forward to your reopening! The very best wishes for you and your whole staff team for the future and the year ahead – which will hopefully be a much more positive one!”

This is not the first time rule breaking customers have caused problems for the pub’s owners Nick and Amanda Hemming. Over the summer they were forced to pull out of the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme after receiving ‘unpleasant’ comments from unhappy customers who wanted to get into the busy pub to eat but had to be turned away.

Falmouth Packet | Truro