THERE is still uncertainty for pubs in Herefordshire as they anxiously wait to hear of which tier of coronavirus restrictions the county will be under.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said England's rules will once again be a tiered, regional system, similar to before the lockdown which started on November 5.

While publicans in Herefordshire know lockdown ends on December 2, they are still not sure how or if they will be able to open.

In tier 1, a maximum of six people can meet and bars, restaurants and cafes can only open if they offer table service. Last orders will be at 10pm before closing at 11pm.

In tier 2, the 'rule of six' will apply outdoors, but no households can mix indoors. Hospitality venues will also have to close unless they are serving substantial meals with drinks.

But in tier 3, all hospitality will have to close, unless they are serving takeaways or offering a delivery service.

Herefordshire will find out tomorrow (Thursday) which tier of restrictions it will be placed under when lockdown ends next Wednesday (December 2).

But for one landlord at a pub between Hereford and Ross-on-Wye, it means he has been in limbo.

Dan Ratcliffe, who has run the Harewood End Inn for the last eight years with his wife Nicki, said: "Hopefully we'll be going straight into tier 1 which is what we'd expect, but we don't know until Thursday.

"In which case we will do exactly the same as what we were doing before, but we can extend another hour of people being sat down before they have to leave the premises.

"It's not good news, we were already running reduced hours, we weren't running most of our lunchtime shifts during the week because they're just not viable by the time you've put in your running costs and what it costs to keep your staff in."

Mr Ratcliffe, 33, added December will be a case of "damage limitation" as pubs across the country will not be able to host Christmas parties on the same scale as last year due to the restrictions.

Herefordshire's branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) shared Mr Ratcliffe's concerns for the future of the industry.

"Let's look on the good side, the Government has got rid of the absurd 10pm rule," CAMRA's Mark Haslam said.

"That was so arbitrary."

"What concerns us now is the pubs in tier 2, although this probably won't affect Herefordshire, only pubs which serve substantial meals will be able to have customers so are in shtook basically.

"What we're doing now is asking the Government that those pubs are given support otherwise we will see a lot of pub closures.