A PUB in Cowdenbeath has closed its doors until Fife returns to tier two while blasting the government for once again picking on the hospitality industry.

Diamonds Bar and Grill, on the town’s High Street, closed on Thursday night for the last time until there is a significant change in the area.

As of Friday, pubs and restaurants can not sell alcohol, in or outdoors, and they must shut at 6pm in an effort to get a grip of the quickly-rising coronavirus cases.

The move has been met with a lot of opposition, and Karen McCluskie, the manager of Diamonds, told the Times that while she is concerned about the virus and public health, the latest hospitality restrictions make no sense.

Explaining why they made the decision to shut, she said: “The restrictions are now no alcohol and we are dependent on alcohol sales.

“I am all for public health, but the bars are the only places, by law, that have to use track and trace.

“We have had one case here and track and trace got in touch and we did everything and because of the measures we had in place, no customer or member of staff was at risk.

“You will not stop people socialising, all you do is move it underground and into people’s homes. There’s nothing stopping people going to the shop and buying six bottles of vodka and having people there. It’s not regulated.”

Clearly passionate in her views about the new rules, Karen said she, and many like her, are annoyed at the amount of money that has been spent on making their businesses coronavirus-viable, only to then face another hurdle.

She continued: “All the measures we had to put in place cost a lot of money. Perspex screens, sanitising stations, and we built an outdoor area as well. There is no evidence that it is even coming from bars.

“It is nonsense. All this opening, shutting, opening, shutting is soul destroying. The scapegoats are bars and restaurants.

“If bars are shut throughout December and over Christmas, many won’t survive as that period gives them money to use throughout the year.”

While accepting that certain restrictions are of course necessary, Karen said the early curfew has hugely hindered their chances of being viable.

She added: “Even it was 8pm we could get people in at night for food, but closing at 6pm means our last entry would have to be 4.30pm so we’re not rushing them. Nobody is finished their work at that time to come in for food.”