PUBS in Herefordshire risk losing their traditional feel after bar service was banned by the Government.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that from today (Thursday), pubs and restaurants must operate table service only (except for takeaways), and must close at 10pm.

There will be tighter penalties, with fines applying to businesses who fail to comply with the rules, while the penalty for failing to wear a mask or breaking the rule of six will now double to £200 for a first offence.

Mr Johnson said the restrictions announced could remain in place for “perhaps six months”.


Phil Price, landlord at the Barrels in St Owens Street, Hereford, said not being able to serve behind the bar will be 'alien' for himself and staff.

Currently the bar is screened off and staff can wear protective clothing if they choose.

"It's not very positive to be fair and not helping an already ailing industry," said Mr Price.

"The restrictions have already been quite severe for ourselves with only a half to one third of the normal trade.

"This will certainly impact things and make that worse. Table service is not something we've done before.

"Since we've re-open we've worked to ensure that the pub stays as close to feeling like a pub as much as possible.


"The customers like that. Table service is alien to us and it will take a little while to get accustom to.

"We have to do it as it's the law now so we will abide by it."

Mr Price says that the early closing times will not affect his businesses too much as they already close at 10pm in the week and 11pm on Friday and Saturday nights.

However, he says other pubs in Hereford which open later will be greatly affected.

Mr Price agreed that measures do need to be tightened with people getting 'over confident' but can not see what difference closing pubs at 10am will have.

He also questions whether the infection rates are higher in pub than elsewhere in society.

However, Mr Price hopes that the industry will turn a corner and start to recover.

"The hospitality industry has been hit very hard and this is not going to help," he added.

"I'm sure it will get better and it can only get better. We will keep plugging away but I don't think the measures are right.

"Just because there is a rise in infections amongst teenagers shouldn't force the pubs to close."