THE OWNER of one of Britain’s smallest commercial breweries has warned of a ‘bleak’ few months following the introduction the Goverment’s ‘rule of six’.

Howard Kinder, who runs Malton Brewery, based in a Grade-II listed building at Navigation Wharf in Malton, said there had been an immediate effect on planned events following the introduction of the new measures on Monday.

He said: “We’ve had a number of cancellations throughout the year and the new six person rule has had an immediate impact with two events being cancelled.

“I’m expecting more as I can’t see the Living North Christmas Fayre at York Racehorse going ahead. Currently Racecourses are not allowed spectators so I cannot see how they will allow people to go to a Christmas Fayre as that would not make sense.

Howard added: “ In September we’ve already lost the York Food Festival and Grassington Christmas Market over two weekends in December has now cancelled.

“After all the events that we have lost this Summer, we needed a good Christmas. If that’s not going to happen then I need to reevaluate where the business is going. “

Howard said: “If you’ve got nothing coming in but still have all the costs going out it don’t take a genius to know something has to give.

“Let’s hope I’m just being bleak and we have a good Christmas.”

The coronavirus rule of six means any social gatherings of more than six people will break the law.

People across England face fines of up to £3,200 if they do not abide by the new measure, which applies to both indoor and outdoor settings and follows a rapid increase in the number of daily positive cases across the country. More than 3,000 Covid-19 cases were recorded in the UK for the third day in a row on Sunday.

Chief Inspector Charlotte Bloxham, silver lead for the North Yorkshire Police COVID-19 response said: “The measures that have been announced regarding social gathering and the ‘rule of six’ are steps that Government and health professionals have deemed necessary to help to control the spread of the virus. It’s vital that we react quickly to this advice and do everything we can to prevent the spread of the virus, as we all know how dangerous and devastating COVID-19 can be.

“ It’s important that everyone takes personal responsibility to ensure that they adhere to the guidance around not meeting in groups larger than six people, both indoors and outdoors and remembers the ‘hands, face, space’ advice.

“If anyone has have any concerns regarding any breach of these new regulations, please report it to us in the first instance via the online form at”