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Prime Minister Boris Johnson is soon to outline what the rules for the festive period will be, however it is already a given that pubs will not have their usual Christmas trade.

Bath Pub Company managing director Joe Cussens said the pub company would usually be overwhelmed with Christmas reservations by now.

He explained: “Normally the phones start ringing actually before the end of the school holidays and then when they come back from the holidays in September, we are inundated with enquiries for Christmas parties, companies, organisations, friends, families, etc.

“Ordinarily it is absolutely flat out from September all the way through this period. We have had nothing of course this year. We have had quite a few enquiries but you can’t take a booking for more than six people from one household, so that whole market has been decimated.”

The four-site strong company has chosen to not open for Christmas Day, so to not let down customers. 

Staffing worries

“We can’t get the covers in to make it stack up commercially,” Cussens said. “More importantly, it only takes one or two of our key staff to have to self isolate for Christmas Day and then suddenly we can’t deliver the experience people paid for. It’s just too risky. The pressure is on for Christmas Day, it has to be special for your guests.

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“If they come in and you can’t cook them Christmas dinner because your head chef has been told to self-isolate it is a potential disaster.”

While December is unlikely to be one of the most profitable months of the year as usual, Cussens is optimistic. 

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