CAFES, pubs and restaurants were told to close last night in the latest measure to combat the spread of the coronavirus,

Operators had already been working to find new ways to serve customers, and regulations have been relaxed so pubs and restaurants can operate as hot food takeaways during the coronavirus outbreak.

Normally, planning permission is required for businesses to carry out a change of use to a hot food takeaway. The new measures apply to hot food and drinks.

The change was one of the practical steps introduced to support businesses and help people who are self-isolating.

However, during his daily briefing yesterday, the Prime Minister said: "We are telling cafes, pubs and bars to close tonight as soon as they reasonably and not to open tomorrow though to be clear they can continue to provide take out services."

In Heworth, independent cafe owner Beatrice Wright had been determined to keep open as long as possible, and said many customers had pledged their support.

Bean on the Green has been in East Parade for almost three years and has a loyal following, especially on Friday evenings when freshly-made pizzas are available.

Beatrice said it had been a worrying time but they had not noticed a huge drop in numbers and were still welcoming customers throughout the week.

She said the closure announcement was "disappointing".

"I have been really optimistic.

"We have been fairly busy today and I have been saying to customers that we would carry on regardless. Now we obviously can't.

"I didn't think it would happen so soon. I thought it would be at the end of next week.

"I would like to continue with take-aways.

"We can still provide that service and support the customers."

Bean on the Green is working with York taxi firm 659659 to offer a pizza delivery service for a flat rate of £5, to be paid on delivery.

Beatrice said she thought they had stayed busy until the closure announcement, as other cafes had started to shut up shop earlier in the week and limit their offering to take-away.

“It is also possibly because people aren’t going into town. Everyone who comes in, regular customers, have said they will support us.”