This Morning viewers divided as pub owner defends decision to ban 'selfish' under 25-year-olds
17 September 2020, 11:30 | Updated: 17 September 2020, 11:33
Maggie Cole has banned anyone under the age of 25 from drinking in her pub to try and limit the spread of coronavirus.
A guest on This Morning divided viewers today after she defended her decision to ban under 25s from her pub in Yorkshire.
Maggie Holmes is the owner of The Oddfellows Arms pub in Sherburn-in-Elmet, and recently shared a Facebook post which detailed her decision to stop youngsters drinking on the premises.
But she was forced to take it down after receiving death threats from people she didn’t even know.
Explaining her decision to hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield today, Maggie said she was trying to protect her business and her customers following a spike in Covid-19 cases in those aged 18-25.
“I made this decision due to a spike in the area,” she said, continuing: “I didn’t take it easily and I wanted to mitigate risk for my customers.”
When Phillip asked whether she could have just told customers to be extra careful with social distancing, she replied: “We don’t actually have that many customers of the younger demographic, it’s actually only about 15% and they are amazing.
“But I didn’t want to take the risk, I’ve seen businesses around me closing down, and I’m not naive enough to think there won’t be someone else bringing in coronavirus but I wanted to reduce the risk.”
Maggie explained that she had no income whatsoever during lockdown as their kitchen and letting rooms had to close down.
But it seems as though viewers are divided by the ban, as one person wrote: “@thismorning a lady banning under 25's in her pub are you kidding me? Age discrimination right there, how can this be allowed? Another divide whilst government blame the younger generation for the spike.”
A second agreed: “We can’t put all under 25’s in the same bracket. We could all be spreading Coronavirus, no matter what age we are and could all have it.”
But another argued back: “Sorry to say have experienced the 18-25 age group not taking any safety measures. If businesses wish to ban that age group they should be able to without being vilified for it.”
@thismorning a lady banning under 25's in her pub are you kidding me? Age discrimination right there, how can this be allowed? Another divide whilst government blame the younger generation for the spike.— Donna Wenman (@bubblygum1983) September 17, 2020
22-year-old social influencer Freddie Bentley also appeared on the segment, arguing that young people should not be singled out.
He said: “It’s been a tough year for the younger generation and we feel like we’ve been pushed into a corner.
“These rules in pubs are really harsh and people will just start rebelling anyway so it will make matters worse.”
But one viewer hit back, fuming: "what this ‘influencer’ is saying just goes to show that people are selfish!! ‘It makes us want to do it more’ get a grip of yourself! I’m 23 and I’m sad to be apart of such a selfish generation."
This comes after Maggie announced her new rules last month, writing: "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, we will continue to try and ensure our community, customers and staff are all kept safe in these difficult times.
"Before anyone tries to say we are wrong, think of the implications for us as a business.
"This is not where we want to be. We would rather have a safe environment than a place which is teetering on the risk of closure.
"Please see that we are acting for everyone’s best intentions at this time.
"We have some of the most amazing well mannered, well behaved customers in that age bracket, but we simply cannot take the risk.
"As soon as we feel safe to do so we will ensure everyone knows. Thank you for understanding."