A COWDENBEATH pub owner has described the latest coronavirus restrictions as devastating as the hospitality industry gets to grips with the new rules put in place last week.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon last week announced that pubs and restaurants in Fife must close at 6pm and not serve alcohol indoors in a bid to stop the rising number of Covid-19 infections in Scotland.

The move has been met with a furious backlash with many saying that the hospitality trade has been singled out despite the enormous efforts it has put in to make sure customers are safe and their premises are up to standard.

June Ross, owner of Dunvegan Bar in Cowdenbeath, told The Times that she was shocked when she heard the news and is bitterly disappointed.

Speaking last week when the measures were introduced, June said: “I was shocked, I really didn’t expect it. I’m devastated; every day just gets worse.

“The pub was already quiet because people are scared to go out. We might be OK because we’re also a restaurant and we’re going to try and keep that going, but if it’s not making money we won’t be opening.

“It’s just devastating. They would have been better just shutting us completely It makes no sense at all Why let us open if we can’t serve alcohol?”

While June’s main concern is her business, she also worries for her regular customers, many of whom are older, because she says some days the only people they see are in her pub.

Although the outlook may be bleak for many pubs and restaurants around the country, June says they should survive the period even if they have to shut during it.

She said: “We should be OK after the period. Well, we have to be OK, this is our life.”

Robert from The Old Ship Inn, Lochgelly, told The Times the measures are “despicable” adding that he also can’t understand how the government came to the decision.

He said: “It’s despicable. Horrendous. I do not see the point in selling soft drinks. It’s completely nonsensical.

“The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting cold, so who would want to sit outside just so they can have a drink?

“I just don’t see the reasoning in it at all.”

Meanwhile, Partners Bar in Cowdenbeath will close at 6pm despite being able to stay open until 10pm because they have a beer garden.

Anna, the manageress, told The Times they have up to nine members of staff not working at the moment, adding that it is unfair on the hospitality industry to have to suffer further.

Speaking about the new measures, she said: “It’s OK if everywhere actually abides by the restrictions. We are going to close at 6pm. We’ve got a beer garden but it’s October – who wants to sit out in it now?

“We have everything in place to be safe. We are following every restriction but are still getting penalised. It’s not fair. Half of our business is already closed with the nightclub.”