DISGRUNTLED pub managers have vented their frustration over how the second lockdown is being managed by the Government.

Unlike the first lockdown, more shops and services have remained open and businesses that are still trading are selling essentials as well as their normal stock.

This comes after the Government made a last-minute U-turn allowing pubs to serve takeaway beer during lockdown, as long as it's pre-ordered by phone or online, over fears that more than 7m pints of alcohol would have been wasted.

The landlord of The Boot Inn in Houghton, Craig Doyle, said: "There are so many contradictory messages [from the Government] and I would say we have gone above and beyond to make our pub a COVID-safe environment.

"We have worked hard and have removed covers to make everything safe, yet we are being treated harsher than supermarkets and other shops, and we had to beg to serve alcohol.

"I have not chosen to do takeaways, because it takes some planning and by the time we have got it right we could be back open again.

"Hopefully by December we will be able to trade again and if not then the Government needs to give us support, because if we don't get it and lockdown is extended then I will have to take the hard decision to see if this is worth it or not."

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Romsey Advertiser: The Boot InnThe Boot Inn

He added: "I opened my business on September 27 and it is the stop-start of lockdown that is very frustrating because of the amount of energy we have to put into getting the business going again."

The landlady at The Sun Inn in Winchester Road, Carol Rickman, believes the lockdown is "much harsher on the hospitality industry", but is still continuing to offer their takeaway service in a bid to balance the books.

She said: "We were totally COVID-safe and I think it is much safer coming in here than everywhere else people are allowed to go to now.

"We have got lots of Christmas bookings so I hope we are able to open on the date Boris Johnson said lockdown would end (December 2), but there is nothing we can do about it so we are carrying on with the takeaway service.

"On Sunday (November 15), we had 100 takeaways, which is the maximum we can do."

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Romsey Advertiser: The landlady at The Sun Inn, Carol RickmanThe landlady at The Sun Inn, Carol Rickman

However, one pub manager agreed the lockdown has been tougher on the hospitality industry after it had just started to recover, but believes "there's no point becoming bitter about it".

General manager at The Four Horseshoes in Nursling, Lewis Rosario, said: "On a positive note, we have a successful takeaway menu which is proving very popular and we are just about to extend it to offer a ‘dine in style’ menu.

"Last weekend we did 73 Sunday roast lunches takeaways which proves that people still want quality food."

READ: 'Many more' business could fold if new lockdown is rolled out, Romsey businessman warns >>>

Romsey Advertiser: The Four HorseshoesThe Four Horseshoes