Pubs and bars across Merseyside are set to close from Wednesday as the Liverpool City Region becomes the first area to move into the “very high” alert level.
Areas in the top tier will be able to impose extra restrictions, and on Merseyside this will mean the closure of leisure centres, gyms, betting shops and casinos.
Accusations of cronyism rang out after it was revealed that chains such as Wetherspoons could be given special dispensation, with pubs selling food allowed to stay open.
According to the housing secretary Robert Jenrick that could simply mean serving a Cornish pasty with chips or a side salad.
Either way, it is clear many businesses are likely to suffer as a new wave of adversity washes over the city.
This poem penned by Stephen Pugh has been making the rounds on social media as spirits start to waver. In his words, “there is no place like it on earth”:
“I love the fact you can walk into any pub and make a friend within a minute, who’ll buy you a beer if you look like you need one.
I love the look on people’s faces, when they step out of Lime Street into Liverpool for the first time and see St Georges Hall.
I love the way you can look up and see three centuries worth of architecture all around you.
I love the way if you stand in the right place in the morning you can see the sun rise between the Liverbirds.
I love the fact we have two brilliant football teams whose fans ‘hate’ each other, but deep down we love each other and couldn’t live without them.
I love the way the city has reinvented itself without any investment from the government.
I love the way we look out towards Dublin and New York and don’t look back towards Manchester or London.
I love the way students come and never leave because they fall in love with the city.
I love fact you can walk through town and hear dozens of different languages from dozens of different countries, and no one cares where you are from, as long as you’re friendly.
I love the fact no-one cares what you do for a living, how much money you have or what car you drive. They only care if you’re a decent person.
I love the way every time you go into town there’s a new independent bar, pub or restaurant popped up.
I love the fact we have a world class shopping centre, but the best shops are the little boutiques and antique stores dotted around the place.
I love the way you see sons taking their mums for a drink, and daughters treating their dads to a pint.
I love the spray from the Mersey when you get the ferry over to the Wirral.
I love the fact we kept and looked after a bombed a church, which now hosts concerts and art displays.
I love the fact you can have a full blown conversation with random strangers.
I love the fact everyone says ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.
I love the fact if you drop money on the floor someone will pick it up and chase you down the road to give it back.
I love the fact our homeless people have a bittersweet sense of humour and will always have a laugh and joke with you, even if you can’t give them any money.
I love the fact we have two world class cathedrals from two separate religions and the road that joins them is called ‘Hope Street’.
I love the way you can walk into a pub and find an artist, lawyer, doctor, plumber and barman all talking about football.
I love our parks and the simple joy that can be taken by walking round them on a summers day.
I love the way many ‘firsts’ of this ‘golden age’ stem from the city and it’s infamously innovate people.
I love the way comedians are terrified of performing here, because most of the audience are funnier than them.
I love the way the Tories HATE us, because we’re one of the few cities with the balls to stand up to them.
I love the way the people close ranks in times of tragedy and vehemently seek justice where justice is required.
I love the fact the same busker has been playing the same song on the same guitar in Lime St subway for the last 18 years.
I love the way we can makes jokes and laugh at our own expense.
Most of all, I love the fact you’re treated like you’re part of one massive family, whether you were born here, moved here or are just embracing the warmth this great city offers.
Like I say, I love Liverpool. No place like it on earth.”