Dowry, Marlex and Sumburgh Airport cafe among coronavirus closures

Cafes, restaurants and bars around Shetland have begun to close their doors and many face an uncertain future.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Friday evening that all pubs, restaurants and cafes were to be told to shut in order to “flatten the curve” of the coronavirus spread.

Bars and eateries across Shetland were forced to take action, and to close indefinitely.

In a letter to all Living Lerwick members on Friday evening, project manager Emma Miller said the move would be “a blow to many of our members and the wider community”.

The Douglas Arms bar in Lerwick, better known as the Marlex, was due to open at 5pm on Friday night just as Mr Johnson begun his press briefing.

They announced on their Facebook page at 6pm that as per government instructions, they would be “closed with immediate effect” instead.

Indian restaurant Saffron followed suit, closing last night “until further notice”. They will continue to offer a takeaway service, as takeaways are exempt from the new ruling.

Sumburgh Airport cafe, Caffé Volare, announced “with great sadness” that they would be forced to close both airport cafes due to a “catastrophic downturn” in business.

And popular town centre eatery The Dowry was forced to close too.

In a Facebook post, the owners said the decision was made “with a heavy heart but in the full knowledge we’re doing the right thing”.

“We will see you on the other side,” they said.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced on Friday that the government would pay 80 per cent of a salary for staff who are kept on by their employer during the coronavirus crisis, in a move that is hoped will help to protect jobs.


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