A NORTHWICH pub manager has explained how the new restrictions being imposed by government are not her rules, as she asks customers to be respectful of them for the benefit of everyone.

Emma Smith and her partner Danny Barton, who took over as licensee at The Swinging Witch on September 7, said that despite trebling the pubs takings since then, face uncertainty as to what the new rules will bring.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced further restrictions for everyone in the country, including an order that all pubs and restaurants must close by 10pm and that customers must now wear a face covering when entering all premises and continue to do so until they are sat down at a table.

Emma said she was dreading having to enforce the new laws, but added that it was in everyone's best interests for them to be adhered to.

She said: "It's hit us like a tonne of bricks to be honest.

"We've done so much hard work to get the pub back up and running and in the first three weeks, we've been able to treble what it used to be making.

"We don't want people feeling like they're coming into school and we're telling them what to do.

"I want people to understand that we're under pressure as a business and if we do ask you to sit down or wear your mask, it's simply to protect other people."

From 10am on Thursday, things will look and feel different for anyone walking into the Swinging Witch, with the first thing to greet customers being a link to the new NHS Track & Trace app.

Emma went on: "Customers have to wear a mask when they arrive and everyone who comes in the pub has to provide their contact details now.

"We still have the mandatory track and trace forms for those who don't have a smart phone.

"If anybody refuses to provide the information they will be told that we cannot serve them. It's as simple as that really."

"From there we will ask people to use the hand sanitising station, before they are shown to a table where we will take their drinks order."

Once seated, customers, who can still pay for their drinks with cash or card, are able to remove their masks, but they must put them back on to either go to the toilet or to leave the pub for a smoke outside.

Table service will be provided to customers for the duration of their stay in the pub.

"It seems like such an ordeal to have to go through just to have a pint, but we just want our customers to respect the law.

"So far, I would say around 80 percent of people have been brilliant and done everything asked of them.

"We've been so careful in ensuring every area in the pub is carefully sanitised, including tables, fruit machines, everywhere really.

"If people don't abide by these new rules this could end up going on for years and years."

As well as the new stricter rules customers now face, Emma went on to say the prospect of having to close at 10pm was another aspect she was not looking forward to and is confused by the logic behind it.

She said: "I can see potential problems as it will mean everyone having to leave the pub at the same time.

"It is very possible you will just see people coming out earlier than they normally would.

"We show a lot of football here too and have been taking table bookings since we opened.

"We've even taken seven table bookings after the announcement, so clearly it hasn't put people off wanting to come out.

"But the games that kick off at 8.15pm are going to be horrendous because it's likely people are going to have to leave the pub before the end of the match, which is not ideal at all.

"We just hope people don't stay away.

"Basically, I just want to make sure that our customers and staff feel safe in the pub and as long as you stick by these rules, nothing will really feel like it's changed."

Although booking a table is not mandatory, those wishing to do so can contact the pub by giving them a call or via their Facebook page.