THE landlord of an historic York pub says government restrictions have "decimated" its ability to make money, and the business is surviving "by the skin of its teeth."

The Blue Bell, on Fossgate, only reopened on August 28, with landlord John Pybus telling The Press last month that he had to reopen to prevent the business from closing as the money he received from a government grant had run out.

John, who was recently interviewed by Victoria Derbyshire on BBC News, decided against reopening the pub on July 4, when lockdown restrictions were eased, saying at the time that the premises were simply too small to make it work financially.

But since opening its doors again, the Blue Bell, which is one of York's smallest pubs, has been losing money every week due to its reduced capacity of 20 people to meet social distancing guidelines, John revealed. Its usual capacity is 65 people.

He said the latest government rules for pubs to close at 10pm and offer table service only is "devastating news."

John explained: "The restrictions have decimated our ability to make money. We're not even breaking even at the moment.

"The 10pm curfew doesn't take just one hour away, it's an hour and a half. We're having to call time at 9.30pm."

He said that he's keeping the pub going by using the government bounce back loan, adding: "We're hanging on by the skin of our teeth."

John said the table service rule will see the pub's staff costs double, adding an extra £700 onto the payroll.

Despite the challenges he is facing, John is "confident" that the pub can survive past Christmas.

The Blue Bell is open every day from 12 noon to 10pm.