Pubs across the county have been left counting the cost after news that Cumbria will be put into tier two from December 2.

Tier two bans socialising with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place and not socialising in a group of more than six people outside, including in a garden or a public space.

Pubs and bars have been told they must close unless operating as restaurants.

Charles Wood, landlord of The Grey Goat in Baggrow, said they were devastated at the news.

He said: “We are a local pub, we serve the community and we have suddenly been taken out of the community. Mildly gutted does not cover it. We have redecorated, we are winter ready and we have to sit here now and watch our customers walking past our pub.”

He said their environment couldn’t be safer, they have 33 bubbles, 11 inside and 22 outside and have built a huge beer garden, with everyone kept 2.3 metres apart.

He said: “It’s just come out of the blue, we feel singled out: the government could just wipe out our business, house and jobs in one day.”

He said it is infuriating from their point of view, when other businesses such as betting shops will be allowed to open.

Charles added: “We’ve lost 15,000 pubs already this year, we could lose another five or six thousand. Soon a pub will be a thing of the past - a museum.

“We are there as an essential service to the community, we are keeping people connected and stopping people from becoming isolated."

He said at the last lockdown they had to waste 800 pints and this time it will be 1,200 pints that gets wasted, and this is something that pubs are not compensated for.

Dave Adam, landlord of The Pack Horse at Seaton, said: “I’m very very disappointed in the decision.

“Obviously this area was in tier 1 before and we were doing well as we could mix families. Now that’s not possible. We can’t do food, we’ve looked into it and it’s not a viable option. I’m just a wet pub - a pub that serves drinks - and even on December 16 they are only reviewing the decision, not reinstating it, so if they change their minds it will take a week or so.”

He thinks that landlords might be able to come through this if they can hold on until spring and said the light at the end of the tunnel is the vaccines that will be available.

He said: “As long as we can ride the wave there will be three vaccines available by spring, and everyone can be vaccinated - but there are no guarantees, we don’t know how long it lasts and such.”

Dave added that the grant this time does not even cover their bills. He said: “During the first lockdown we got a grant of £10,000 for three months, this time it is £1,330 - that doesn’t cover the bills, so you’re having to use savings.

“So if you’ve got savings you might get through it.”

Dave said his customers have been left disappointed too. “The community is disappointed, we had bookings for the tables, the customers are disappointed,” he said.

Even pubs that are allowed to do food are having to rethink the viability of opening.

The Junction, in Workington, has a working kitchen but has announced on its Facebook page that it is are not opening up as it is not viable.

The statement said: “We are in tier two and have decided we will not be opening. The restrictions are just not workable for us.

“We want to try our best to get infection rates down so maybe we could go into tier one.”