The landlady of a pub which has barred people aged 18-25 due to a rise in coronavirus among young people said she has had death threats since making the announcement.
Owner Maggie Holmes said she had decided to introduce the policy at the Oddfellow Arms after a number of young adults tested positive for the virus in the small village of Sherbern-in-Elmet. She had received angry and abusive messages and phone calls, including a death threat, since announcing the policy. But still insisted she would stand by the decision.
The Facebook post read: “In light of recent events and an escalation in cases, we are now not serving anyone in the age bracket 18-25. We have thought about this very carefully, and we will continue to try and ensure our community, customers and staff are all kept safe in these difficult times.”
Twitter user Owen Foth took exception to the announcement.
The Facebook post provoked a strong and mixed reaction and was commented on by hundreds of people- it is was quickly deleted after Maggie received the death threats.
“The level of abuse has been horrendous when all I want to do is keep people safe,” Ms Holmes said. She added: “These are people who have never visited my premises. I’m just being trolled. I’ve spent the day in tears. We are just trying to keep people safe. There have been three outbreaks in and around the village. I don’t want to close again – we had four months of no income. I am not naive enough to think a fifty-year-old or a sixty-year-old could come in with coronavirus, but when the statistics are what they are – that’s where I have to protect my business.”
England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said this week that cases were rising especially quickly among those aged 17 to 29, while health Secretary Matt Hancock said Bolton’s intensified lockdown had been spurred on by a spike caused by “socialising by people in their 20s and 30s”.
Maggie, 52, said she had informed their brewery, Enterprise Inns, about their plans before making the announcement. Most of her customers are over the age of 30, though there are some younger visitors who come in around the weekends, Maggie said.