PUB owners across Romsey have voiced their fears over the new tier system as the hospitality sector braces itself for a raft of tougher measures after lockdown ends on December 2.

On Monday afternoon, Boris Johnson revealed in his Covid winter plan that tightened Tier 2 measures mean venues will only serve alcohol alongside a substantial meal.

Meanwhile, new Tier 3 measures mean pubs and restaurants will only be able to offer takeaway and delivery services, while indoor entertainment, hotels and other accommodation will close.

Details of which areas will be in which tiers will be set out on Thursday, the Prime Minister confirmed.

Martin Rickman, the husband of the landlady at The Sun Inn, said he is worried the Government will take a county-wide approach to the tier system, which could force Test Valley into a harsher tier and result in beer going down the drain.

He said: "The scary thing is how will each area be categorised because there is talk we might be put in a county-wide tier.

"Romsey and Test Valley's cases are quite low, but then we have Portsmouth and Southampton which could push us into Tier 2 or 3.

"It is a gamble going forward because we have to order our beer on Thursday [November 26] and who is to say when we reopen next week we could be in Tier 1 for five days and then we could get put into Tier 2?

"In the last lockdown we got no credit for the beer we wasted and if we order beer thinking we will be in Tier 1 and we are in Tier 2 then it will be wasted as well."

He added: "But, we are getting ready to open and hopefully Test Valley will be placed into Tier 1."

The landlord of The Boot Inn in Houghton, Craig Doyle, said he worries about how the new tiered system will be policed in a bid to stop punters from flouting the rules.

He said: "I am concentrating on what tier we are going to be put into when the Government announces it.

"What is going through my mind is how do you police it? Do you police it when you take bookings or when people are outside the pub, because no households can mix indoors in Tier 2.

"I live in a little country village and we see a police officer come every couple of weeks, but that does not mean I will flout the rules."

He added: "Pubs and restaurants are social places and that is what everyone is desperate to do in a responsible way, and we are the perfect environment to do that in - much more than shops with everyone breathing and sweating over each other."