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How one of Britain’s smallest pubs hopes to be unaffected by new Covid rules

PUBLISHED: 17:05 22 September 2020 | UPDATED: 17:05 22 September 2020

The Nutshell in Bury St Edmunds has now reopened with a new space outside. Pictured is bartender Paul Bradley  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The Nutshell in Bury St Edmunds has now reopened with a new space outside. Pictured is bartender Paul Bradley Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Sarah Lucy Brown

The new rules governing how pubs open are unlikely to affect one of Britain’s smallest pubs, according to its owner.

The Nutshell in Bury St Edmunds has now reopened with a new space outside  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe Nutshell in Bury St Edmunds has now reopened with a new space outside Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Geoff Page, owner of The Nutshell in Bury St Edmunds, said the new restrictions will have very little impact on his pub’s trade as they were already serving customers outside.

Today prime minister Boris Johnson told parliament that all hospitality venues must only operate a table service from this Thursday, except for takeaways.

He also brought in a 10pm curfew for those venues as well as saying customers not sat at a table to eat or drink must wear face coverings.

Mr Johnson went on to say: “In retail, leisure, tourism and other sectors, our Covid-secure guidelines will become legal obligations. Businesses will be fined and could be closed if they breach the rules.”

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More: The Nutshell in Bury St Edmunds finally reopens after coronavirus lockdown

The Nutshell, on The Traverse in Bury St Edmunds, is so small it was only able to reopen last week after West Suffolk council granted it permission to serve customers on the pavement outside.

But Mr Page, the pub’s owner, said: “We’ve got 15 chairs outside on the pavement and we’re doing table service already. We’re not letting anybody in the pub yet, apart from to use the loo.

“So the only real effect is the shutting at 10pm and I’m not sure that’s going to have a massive effect.

“I haven’t got any numbers on what we do in our last hour of trading, but because we’re working outside and don’t have any heaters or any coverings, we quite often shut at 10pm anyway.

“I’m relieved that the only thing we’re really having to alter is our opening hours.”


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