BOSSES of some of the hundreds of pubs forced to close by tough coronavirus restrictions which came in at the weekend have spoken of the problems they now face.

More than 1,100 pubs in Lancashire called time for an indefinite period for the second time this year if they were unable to operate as a restaurant.

For many pubs that serve food, they have still felt the need to close as many rely more on wet sales than their restaurant takings to keep the business operating.

As well as a 10pm curfew, even pubs which serve food are not allowed to let households mix and have strict social distancing measures to implement.

One of East Lancashire’s pubs which called time on Friday was the Craven Heifer in Briercliffe, Burnley.

The pub does serve food, however, landlady Michelle Naylor didn’t think it would be enough to keep the business open.

Ms Naylor, 53, said that their final night of service was very emotional with local faces coming in for one final pint before time was called, with no future opening date yet in sight.

She said: “At least when we went into lockdown in March it was set and you got in your head that you were working towards July.

“It’s nothing now. It’s just this big black hole you fall into and how do you get out of it?”

The Government has stated that the tiered restrictions will be reviewed every 28 days but with cases rising each day in Lancashire any changes are not anticipated soon.

When questioned during a press conference, Prime Minister Boris Johnson could not give a date for when Lancashire’s favourite drinking holes can welcome customers back again.

The landlord at the Swan with Two Heads in Pendleton has closed his doors as he believes it wouldn’t be viable to operate under the new guidelines.

As the national pub of the year CAMRA winner in 2014, the pub is well known for its ale with much of the business coming through wet sales.

Operating as a restaurant was not viable as the pub would only have a small amount of tables due to social distancing.

Stephen Dilworth, 66, said: “The Great British pub is multifaceted. You give support to people, they give support to us.

“It gives our staff a boost and we hope we do it with the customers. We have been here 33 years and we have had some great characters.

“We have only been closed since Friday but I miss them already. It is very strange.”

The couple did make an outdoor covered area to try to allow outdoor seating into the winter which was completed about ten days ago.

But new guidelines on household mixing meant that they would still be operating on limited capacity.

He added: “We have a big following with drinkers.

“Obviously the food is very busy but the cask ale is a very big side to us.

“That’s what a lot of people come for. During the summer, after July 4th they were able to sit outside and have a pint.”

The Knuzden Tap in Knuzden does not even have a kitchen meaning landlady Clair Brown had no choice but to close on Friday.

They only opened 12 months ago with a mission to help make the place a focal point for the community.

During the closure, Clair plans to make some changes to the pub to make it easier to reopen in the future.

Clair said: “We are just making alterations and improvements in the time we have got.

“We are just trying to adjust and adapt so that we can re-open in the future.”

As a small local bar, Ms Brown has said that the regulations would have to change to allow her to welcome back her locals.

She added: “Anything on tier three would be my worst nightmare.

“I have six tables so I could only make £20 to £30 a night.

“It would have to go down to tier two before I could even think about reopening.”