PUBS and restaurants are being "drastically affected" by the coronavirus outbreak as punters are urged by the Government to steer clear.

The Prime Minister set out the need for “drastic action” to tackle the “fast growth” of coronavirus across the UK as increased social distancing measures are introduced for the population.

Live coronavirus updates for Herefordshire

Boris Johnson said all people in the UK should avoid pubs, clubs and theatres, stop all non-essential contact and travel, and work from home if they can.

But as the Government hadn't closed these businesses down, which means their insurance policy would cover them, it's left them worrying for their future.

In Hay-on-Wye, a popular destination for tourists on the Welsh border, the owner of the Three Tuns pub and restaurant in Broad Street is trying to remain open for as long as possible.


The family-run business is considering following in the footsteps of Hereford's Beefy Boys restaurant which has closed its restaurant and is only accepting takeaway or delivery orders.

"We're being drastically affected like many others with very little direction from the Government about how staff are going to be paid," David Lonsdale said.

"I think like most small pubs and restaurants they are trying to find alternatives. I understand the Beefy Boys in Hereford are trying to set up a takeaway menu which is something we are probably going to need to look at as well.

"The fact that they haven't closed pubs down as well leaves everyone in a predicament. Their insurance companies cannot cover them until the Government tells the insurance companies to cover them."

He added: "I think at some stage we will have to close, we're trying to leave it as long as we possibly can simply because staff need to be paid. That's our primary concern at the moment."

Mr Lonsdale said the town hasn't been as busy as what he would usually expect, and some pubs have already shut their doors in an attempt to keep costs down.

"It's been quiet, but the weekend on the Saturday was probably one of the busiest we've seen," he added.

"But that was before the Government came out and said we need to avoid pubs. We were quite busy at lunchtime yesterday (Tuesday) funnily enough, but I think it's sinking that people need to avoid pubs.

"I think that means a lot of the pubs in Hay-on-Wye are going to be closing down, a couple have already closed down anyway.

"I won't say close down as in go into administration, but close down just so they don't need to pay their staff at this current moment."