THE manager of a Herefordshire pub says he doesn't trust the Government as uncertainty remains over post-Christmas Covid restrictions.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson ruled out introducing any new measures in England before December 25, but didn't rule out restrictions after that date.

Now there are media reports to suggest new measures could be announced within 48 hours, including restrictions for household mixing indoors and implementing the rule of six.

On Monday, Mr Johnson ruled out immediately implementing any new Covid restrictions but has said the Government reserves the “possibility of taking further action” to protect public health due to the spread of the Omicron variant.

But it has left business in a precarious position as they try to manage risk.

Chris Howell from The Oak Inn in Staplow, near Ledbury, said he didn't trust the Government not to bring in stricter rules as concern over the Omicron variant grows.

He said while December's trade had been good, there was big uncertainty over restrictions after Christmas.

Mr Howell, who runs the pub with his wife Heather, said it had been decided not to offer a special menu on New Year's Eve as last year food went to waste when England's third national lockdown started.

"We were fully booked, over 75 covers, for New Year's Eve and they cancelled it the day before, if you remember.

"We had a special menu so we had to throw quite a bit of food out. We were stocked up with drink as well.

"The ciders and lagers were alright, but the beer we ended up flogging for cheap price.

"We've already decided that this year we're going to have our normal menu, but we don't trust the Government."

He said the Government should tell the public what any further restrictions would be so businesses could plan ahead.

And that uncertainty was one of the reasons Mr Howell thought the pub had maintained good trade recently.

He said the public were probably thinking pubs would be shut after Christmas so were keen to get out.

And on top of that, he thought the pub's dedicated and mask-wearing staff made people feel welcome and safe.

But Mr Howell said the new package of Government support for hospitality and leisure companies didn't go far enough.

The package has promised another £1 billion of financial support for hospitality and leisure companies hit by the recent surge in Covid cases following the emergence of the Omicron strain of the virus.

Businesses will be able to get one-off grants worth up to £6,000 per premises that they run, the Treasury said on Tuesday.

Companies with fewer than 250 staff will also be allowed to claim back up to two weeks’ worth of statutory sick pay for each employee who gets the virus.

While business groups welcomed it, they warned that more might be needed if ministers tighten restrictions.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said that a “wider support package” could be needed, but welcomed the new announcements for bringing respite to businesses.