Hotel, restaurant and pub owners in York who will be operating in Tier 2 say they are grateful to have avoided the highest level of restrictions - but say policing the rules can cause problems.

Rebecca Hill, the owner of Galtres Lodge Hotel, in Low Petergate, York, said she was relieved the city was in the second tier of Covid restrictions, which meant she can operate near to normal.

But Ms Hill said the city was on the edge of a huge swathe of Tier 3 territory across West and South Yorkshire which meant many people had cancelled their bookings because they can no longer travel.

She said: “Tier 3 would have been a disaster but Tier 2 means we can welcome guests into the hotel and open the restaurant.”

Ms Hill said: “We can reopen and we can welcome guests but, obviously, guests from Tier 3 areas cannot travel to us.

“So that does have a negative affect on bookings and that’s a real shame.

“But most of our guests are very lovely, luckily.

“We’re a small independent, very personable business, so they’ve just called and they’ve just postponed and they’ll just come where they can.”

Mrs Hill said there are still complications dealing with the rules around non-mixing of households.

She said groups suspected of not being from the same household are subtly steered towards the heated outdoor areas.

“You can tell sometimes if people are, maybe, telling you something that’s not quite true,” she said.

“We do have outside seating as a fall back if someone comes and says, ‘oh yes we’re from one household’ and we, maybe, think they’re not.

“We can quite subtly usher them to an outside table so they’re not breaking any rules and we’re not breaking any rules.”

She said: “If anyone’s really adamant they’re from one household, we’re not here to police people.

“We just hope that people do the right thing like we’re trying to do.”

Malcolm Tolladay, landlord of the Winning Post pub, just south of the city centre, said: “Pulling the first pint will be apprehensive because we don’t know how many people we’re going to get through the door.”

Mr Tolladay explained that only being able to serve people with a substantial meal meant many locals would not be able to come and that was hard, given the pub’s community role.

He said he was going to try opening only on Thursdays, Fridays and the weekends to start with.

“If we’re getting that restricted footfall, we’re going to have to keep a close eye on whether it is actually worth our while for getting those few meals with those few drinks of those few days,” he said.

“So although we’re allowed to open, is it viable?

“We’re just going to have to try and see.

“It’s going to be challenging and it just adds to that uncertainly factor.”

Mr Tolladay also said policing the household restrictions, which will continue once York is in Tier 2, has been a major challenge for the pub, especially for some younger staff members.

He said: “They’ve found it very challenging, some of the kickback we’ve had from some customers in adhering to the rules.

“In effect, we’re almost getting blamed for some of the rules.

“It’s a challenging environment trying to enforce the rules.

“That adds additional pressure.”