A NEW nautical-themed micropub in Romsey is set to open its doors to eager customers today as coronavirus restrictions ease.

A post on the Cocky Anchor's Facebook page revealed the venue plans to open at 11am in the Market Place.

This comes after the hospitality industry, along with non-essential shops, gyms and more, were allowed to reopen on Monday [April 12] as part of Boris Johnson's roadmap out of lockdown.

In line with the Government's rules, the hospitality industry will only be allowed to serve food or drink outdoors.

Managing director of Anchor Real Estate Ltd, Ian Paxton, told the Advertiser he is excited to open a micropub that is Covid-secure.

He said: "It is exciting times for us and it is nice that we are finally able to open in a Covid-secure manner."

Drinkers will now be able to enjoy a pint outdoors from Monday to Sunday, starting at 11am and finishing at 10pm.

However, as a mark of respect, the watering hole will be "closed [on] Saturday 17th April between 3 – 4pm for the funeral of Prince Phillip, The Duke of Edinburgh", according to the post.

Once the micropub is open, customers don't have to worry about booking a table either and can "just pop along for a drink", the post reads.

The pub will be offering table service only, contactless payment and people should wear a face covering when they enter and move around the pub, while maintaining social distancing.

The post adds: "We ask that you follow either the 'rule of six' or no more than two households present.

"We will also ask customers aged 16 and over to check in to NHS track and trace or give contact details to a staff member."

As reported, Mr Paxton said the business could hold more than 60 people, believing they can fit 28 people in the beer garden and "36 seats at the front of the pub by the Palmerston statue when there are no markets there".

This comes after a planning application to revamp the empty 8 Market Place into the Cocky Anchor was approved by Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) in December.

The plans, submitted by Anchor Real Estate Ltd, have meant the ground floor of the Grade II listed building has been transformed into the pub, while the second floor and attic will be changed for residential use.