RYEDALE pub owners are warning that closing early will place further pressure on the hospitality sector.

Pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality venues now have to shut by 10pm, following the latest round of restrictions announced by the government to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Pub owners say the earlier closing time will “push some businesses over the edge” and potentially affect overall profit.

“The problem is the responsibility has been reflected back onto the hospitality sector, it’s a massive pressure on top of everything else,” said Jill Hall, owner of The Black Swan Inn, in Pickering.

“So far, most people have complied to social distancing measures, sanitising regularly and sticking to the rule of six – which we appreciate not only for ourselves, but staff safety too.

“The coronavirus outbreak has been a worrying time, adapting our business to a new normal, but we are incredibly proud of our staff members for pushing forwards and providing a great atmosphere for customers.

“I understand where the government is coming from with the 10pm curfew, although calling last orders at 9.20pm and hoping everyone vacates the building will be challenging.

“Everyone needs to understand that it’s not us moaning, the government has established these guidelines for a reason and we should brace ourselves for the long-term.”

Howard Kinder, owner of the Malton Brewery, added: “It puts further pressure on every business that trades in this sector.

“Both the reduction in trading hours and the increased costs in providing table service, will push some businesses over the edge.

“The Chancellor goes on about the loan facilities that businesses can access, but that isn’t the answer - if I needed to take out a loan to keep the business, I would shut it down and walk away.

“Pubs, restaurants and breweries

need a good Christmas to survive the first quarter of 2021 when it’s traditionally a very quiet period, without that, 2021 will start in the same way 2020 will finish.”