PUBS have expressed concern about trading conditions after hospitality venues were forced to close their doors.

Stricter coronavirus measures brought into effect across the borough on Tuesday afternoon told hospitality businesses they could only open for takeaway, and were banned from staying open late.

Businesses are having to make difficult decisions to put their staff back on furlough, and are frantically trying to decide how to stay afloat.

Jon-Paul Nolan runs the House Without a Name in Harwood, and is expecting to be closed until restrictions ease as he doesn’t think there will be enough demand for a takeaway service in the area.

He said: “I don’t think there’s much of a market for it. I would love to be proved wrong but we would need to weigh up whether any revenue could pay the wages and cover the cost of the stock.

“We’ve been ticking over since we reopened, we didn’t lose any money with the grants and assistance to delay bills so we’re in a pretty good position, but it depends on how long this is going to last.

“I’ve already inquired about staff going back on furlough – there’s one or two who won’t be eligible but there’s not a lot I can do unfortunately.”

Mr Nolan was alerted to the news when a notification popped up on his mobile phone, prompting him to call staff and ask them to kick out the single customer in the pub at the time, and lock up for the foreseeable future.

He hopes that the new restrictions will only be in place for a short spell, as he’s not sure how long he can afford to remain closed, but welcomes the move to control the virus.

Mr Nolan added: “A lot of people will be angry about the new rules but I’d rather be safe at home with my family and see my staff safe at home too.

“I know there are other pubs who tried to keep going for as long as they could but the way I see it they should just close.

“It’s easy for me to say because I know a lot of other businesses can’t afford to sit back and let things blow over, but to me the profit is irrelevant at the moment, it’s just about staying safe.

“Hopefully this will be short but even when things change there’ll still be restrictions which have an impact on trade.

“We’ve seen people come in recently but will that continue into winter when it’s cold and wet outside?”

The Campaign for Real Ale has begged the government to give more financial support to Bolton pubs, and also called on companies to scrap rent for tenants.

Chairman Nik Antona said: “ A second shutdown in Bolton is a devastating blow for these pubs and local people’s livelihoods.

“The Government must introduce a new financial support package and extend the furlough scheme for pubs forced to close. This is the only way to avoid permanent closures and further job losses.

“Pub companies must also immediately cancel rent for tenants in Bolton. Tenants shouldn’t be forced to pay rent if they have no turnover. “