A HISTORIC York pub has temporarily closed in response to the city moving into Tier 2 Covid restrictions - with its landlord calling for more financial support.

John Pybus, landlord at the Blue Bell, in Fossgate, said he is “upset” by the Government’s decision to move York to ‘high level’ restrictions without any additional financial support for hospitality businesses.

He said the new restrictions will see his capacity reduced further to around a maximum of 10 people. Its usual capacity is 65 customers.

The pub served its last pint for the time being yesterday evening “until we can figure a way to trade with these restrictions,” John said.

Last month, John told The Press that Government restrictions, including social distancing guidelines, the 10pm curfew and offering table service only, had “decimated” the Blue Bell’s ability to make money, and the business was surviving “by the skin of its teeth".

Tier 2 restrictions mean people can still go to the pub but must not mix with anyone outside of their household, apart from those they have formed a support bubble with.

As long as people abide by the ‘rule of six’, they can meet in groups outside at venues which are following guidance.

However, while the Blue Bell has a small space in front of the pub where it could put out a couple of tables, it doesn’t have a beer garden.

John said: “We’re forced to close due to restrictions. Legally I can still open but my capacity has gone down to about 10.

“It’s not financially viable to stay open with 10 customers in. We’ve got double the payroll because of table service as well.

“Tier 2 brings with it no financial support for pubs or their staff. The Government need to offer more financial support for hospitality businesses.

“I’m very upset and angry but we will find a way to get through this. Thank you to our regulars and the wider pub community for your support - I promise we’ll drink together again soon.”

Maggie Anderton, landlady at the Black Swan Inn, in Peasholme Green, said she feels like the hospitality industry is being “penalised” for no reason.

She added: “We’ve done everything they’ve asked of us.

“We are at such a reduced capacity now. So for them to say you’re not getting any financial support because you can still open is unfair.

“The new restrictions are going to have an even bigger impact on takings.

“We are going to take a hit and have to figure out yet again how to get through this.”

Responding to the news that Tier 2 Covid-19 measures will be placed on various regions across the UK, Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “Tier two restrictions will decimate pubs, brewers and their supply chains in these regions unless a proper package of support is given to them.”