A PUB landlord fears that stricter coronavirus safety measures will hit his business hard.

A new 10pm curfew and table service becoming mandatory are extra issues to deal with during an already difficult time for Check Inn manager Andy Waters.

He and his wife Carol took over the Wroughton pub in March then cut their wages after suffering a huge drop in trade that was starting to pick up.

They fear the array of tougher guidelines to stop the spread of Covid-19, while sensible, will be a big blow.

Andy said: “The rules change every day, you can’t get head or tail of it, and the goalposts keep moving but we are still fighting through it with bulldog spirit.

"I understand why they are doing this but it will hit us hard. New Year's is going to be a write-off, if we even survive that long - you can't celebrate New Year at 10pm!

"We just had a cricket team ask to come in for a meal at 9pm after their match, which would have been a nice bonus for us, but unless they can come earlier, we might have to cancel that.

"Table service will be a big issue because it's a lot of extra work, we only have one other member of staff in part-time and can't afford to employ more.

"We had a nice system where one person from each group orders and collects their food and drink from different points on the bar, it worked well and I wish we could stick to it.

"I feel for other innkeepers, especially the smaller ones, who have similar staff problems but don't have as much space as we do, it's not just us who will be affected."

Other new measures include retail workers, taxi passengers, and staff and customers in indoor hospitality having to wear face coverings except while seated at a table to eat or drink.

The rule of six will be extended to include all adult team sports, and plans to reopen business conferences, exhibitions and large sporting events on October 1 have been scrapped for now.

The maximum number of people allowed to attend weddings and wedding receptions will be cut to 15 but the old limit of 30 will still be allowed for funerals.

These restrictions could be in place for as long as six months and will be enforced with a doubled first offence fine of £200 for people not wearing masks or breaking the rule of six.

They come into force after the government U-turned on encouraging people back into offices and now insist that working from home should be done where possible.

The PM had pushed for people to return to the office as safely and quickly as possible, partly to support the businesses that benefit from neighbouring companies' staff popping in during their breaks.

Danielle Mottram is the centre manager of Rombourne Serviced Offices, which rents out workspaces to several companies in West Swindon.

She said: "We have remained open throughout the pandemic. This has enabled us to be reactive and implement measures recommended by the government to support keeping our teams and clients safe.

“As we went through the phases of the lockdown measures lifting, we saw more and more businesses return to their offices.

“Our clients have their own safety measures in place within their offices. Such as social distancing and a combination of rotating staff from remote working to office working in shifts.

“I’m hopeful that now everyone’s used to these safety measures, they will still continue to work from their offices with the measures already implemented.

“Not everyone has an office space at home and this can be challenging to work from the kitchen table or sofa day in and day out.

“Feedback I have had suggests people have missed the structure and routine of office life, mixing with colleagues and the general interaction.

“The situation is subject to change of course and while there is some uncertainty over the upcoming months it is important that we react quickly to the government guidance.”

Nationwide is one of the town's biggest employers, with thousands of staff based at its Pipers Way HQ.A spokeswoman said: "Our focus has always been the safety of our members and colleagues. As a critical service we remained open throughout the national lockdown period to ensure we were there for our most vulnerable members. 

"The majority of our Swindon-based colleagues are working from home and will continue to do so. We continue to monitor the situation closely and are well prepared to continue to support members and colleagues in light of changing government advice." 

A rise in new infections prompted the government to roll back some of its lockdown easing without returning to the sort of shutdown seen in March.

Though a spike in new cases saw Swindon become an area of concern and then an area of enhanced support on the government’s watch-list, we have since managed to lower the amount of new cases enough to be removed from the list.

The latest figures for confirmed cases and deaths in the UK show that as of 9am on Tuesday, 403,551 people have received positive test results - a rise of 4,926 from 24 hours earlier.

Seven were in Swindon, which has had 1,349 Covid-19 cases so far. The rate of infection in Swindon is 607 cases per 100,000 people.