Ledbury publicans are staying positive and optimistic in the light of the 10pm closure rule, which was brought in nationally to help slow the advance of Covid-19.

And some local customers have been adapting to the new regime by arriving earlier.

Some pubs are offering special deals, in the light of the crisis, and others have juggled with their opening hours.

While not every publican wished to formally discuss the measures with the Reporter, those that did were unanimous that a loyal and regular clientele were key to limiting any potential negative impact.

Richard Jennings, landlord of The Talbot in New Street said: “From a personal point of view, I can say that we do have a regular and loyal clientele.”

Mr Jennings said Covid was “something we have to live with” and one measure the Talbot had taken, in the light of the 10pm closure measure, was to open longer in the afternoons.

Lynn Aust, manager at The Full Pitcher in New Street, also praised her loyal regulars and said earlier closing had “not affected us at all”.

During October, as a Covid crisis deal, the pub will offer a 50 per cent discount on some of its meals.

Hylton Haylett, owner of The Oak at Staplow, said his regular customers had adapted to the 10pm closing time by coming in earlier, between 6pm and 7.30pm. The pub was taking no orders after 8.30pm, to ensure the new Government measure could be observed.

Mr Haylett said: “To be honest, the customers seem to be coming in earlier, and so the 10pm closing time isn’t affecting us at all. Everyone seems to understand the situation.”

He said the poor October weather was affecting the use of the garden, but inside, the pub had plenty of space “with hand gel everywhere”.