A BASINGSTOKE pub landlord has said the potential for new Covid restrictions is "worrying", as he revealed that he is expecting to see cancellations worth several thousands of pounds this month.

Reports on Tuesday suggested that the government is considering closing pubs and restaurants over Christmas and New Year

Officials have reportedly drawn up plans to restrict numbers in pubs and restaurants or even close them completely in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

As MPs prepared to vote on Plan B restrictions in Commons on Tuesday amid a concerning rise in Omicron cases in the UK, infection rates are expected to peak in January with New Year parties in doubt.

A Whitehall source told The Sun: “You will be able to see your family at Christmas, but at this rate, you might not be able to do it in a pub.

"As for New Year’s Eve, that is a different story.”

Reacting to the news, Kevin Divall, landlord at the Rising Sun on Chapel Hill, said that further restrictions would come as a blow to hospitality businesses after a tough two years.

"It certainly will be worrying," he told The Gazette. "We have already seen cancellations. Some of those are because workplaces are not prepared to take the risk.

"Things were picking up, and December is prime for all the pub businesses, and we are already feeling the downturn."

Mr Divall added that he has already seen one party of seven and another of 20 plus cancel this week, and is expecting it to reach "up to 100 or so" by Christmas.

When asked what this will mean to a small business like his, he replied: "It will be into several thousands of pounds.

"It is going to be what it is going to be. But we have got to keep everyone safe and it is going to put a lot of pressure on businesses that we were hopefully coming out of."

He added that he wanted the government to consider more support for businesses that will be affected, even if they remain open, such as business rates or VAT holidays.