A HEREFORDSHIRE publican has spoken out about the impact the coronavirus lockdown is having on local businesses like his.

Matt Slocombe, landlord of the Crown Inn in Woolhope, said he had received amazing support from a “really good bunch of locals” throughout the pandemic.

But it has been extremely difficult for pubs to keep up with the ever-changing restrictions.

“It’s just so frustrating,” he said.

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“It was after such great assistance to the trade by the Government. We were the ones that were made Covid-secure and jumped through all the hoops. But with the new lockdown it felt like they pulled the rug from under us.

“There are hotspots and every pub is different. If you have five people in your pub, it’s a completely different situation to having 35 people.

Hereford Times:

“So you manage it accordingly, making sure everyone is sitting down when they can be.

“It just feels as if we were blamed for something that wasn’t our fault, which was strange given the support we were given initially.

“Eat Out To Help Out was superb. It really changed people’s mindset and got people to enjoy each other’s company again; they realised what they were missing.”

Mr Slocombe says his pub is now serving takeaway food and cider during the national lockdown.

Hereford Times:

“We’ve had amazing support from a really good bunch of locals.

“We have to beat this together. Perhaps one of the only things we can control is that which is most local to us.

“We have the chance to rally around all our great pubs, restaurants, local shops and businesses and buy local more than ever. Gift vouchers from your favourites would make great Christmas presents.”