PUBS and bars in York must close from December 2 as the Government imposes Tier 2 restrictions on the city - unless they are operating as restaurants.

The Tier 2 level means that businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a Covid-secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs.

However, pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants.

It will come as a major blow for the industry, from York's pubs and bars to their suppliers, many of whom are small micro-breweries.

Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals while hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to provide table service only, in premises which sell alcohol and they must close between 11pm and 5am. 

They must stop taking orders after 10pm.

Hospitality venues selling food and drink for consumption off the premises can continue after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through

Early closure (11pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls.

Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11pm in order to conclude performances that start before 10pm.

Public attendance at outdoor and indoor events (performances and shows) is permitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors

Public attendance at spectator sport and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors

Earlier today publicans took to Twitter as they waited anxiously to learn York's fate.

Industry players have been pressing for urgent action to help pubs.

Lobby organisations the Forum of British Pubs, British Pub Confederation, and the Campaign for Pubs are supporting the campaign to ‘save our pubs with an urgent support package’.

The campaign is driving a petition, calling on people who want to preserve their local to sign and lobby their MPs to:

• Increase closure grants to £1000 per week during the current crisis

• Introduce a statutory rent code to provide rent relief during closure, and realistic rents during the recovery period whilst challenging trading conditions persist

• A business rates holiday in 2021/22

• Rebasing VAT on pubs and hospitality sales to 5%

The campaign is also highlighting the disproportionate impact of the restrictions associated with Tier 2 and Tier 3 Covid lockdowns.

Without urgent support for all pubs that cannot realistically open will close.

Ian Cass, Managing Director of the Forum of British Pubs and Vice-Chair of the British Pub Confederation said: “Many publicans are bewildered at the government's targeting of pubs, having invested time and money in creating safe environments for both staff and customers, while allowing large numbers of people to continue to shop in large retail environments which have far less safety measures in place than pubs.

"Pubs and publicans are being thrown to the wolves, unfairly seeing their businesses and livelihoods threatened without any real evidence to justify the restrictions being imposed on them.

“Now that The Government has announced these devastating and deeply questionable restrictions on pubs and hospitality, they need to come up with an urgent and meaningful package of support including adequate grants to see pubs through the winter which support the pubs and publicans who run them, rather than on unreasonable rents.

"Anything less and the blame for pub closures, increased unemployment and damage to communities will lie squarely with Ministers who haven’t listened."

If you're a York landlord, send your views to Business Editor