PUBS are suffering a dramatic drop in customer numbers as a result of coronavirus.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday reiterated Government advice for everyone in the UK to avoid close contact with others to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Official Government advice for “social distancing” includes avoiding large gatherings as well as gatherings in small public places such as pubs, clubs, cinemas and restaurants.

Some pubs are facing difficult decisions about whether to reduce their opening hours or to close completely.


Liva Steinberga, manager at The Prince Albert in Trafalgar Street, Brighton, said the pub is “waiting for the Government to act” and order pubs to shut so they can “protect their staff” and claim on their insurance.

She said: “We’re waiting on the Government to order us to close as otherwise we will not be able to look after our staff, because our insurance doesn’t cover it.

“If we choose to close down on our own it’s unlikely we’ll be covered, which is the same for a lot of pubs.”

The pub and popular music venue, which has a capacity for 110 people, has had to cancel all its upcoming gigs.

Liva added: “The Prime Minister has told everyone to avoid pubs, so yes it has been quiet – you can really feel it.

“We still have some regulars coming in but it’ s not amazing. We’ve told people not to come in if they’re feeling unwell and have taken all precaution that we can as a pub to keep people safe. We’re just going to see how it goes.”

The Prince Albert has reduced the cost of ales and ciders on hand pumps to £3 a pint. The Gladstone in Lewes Road also had to cancel live music earlier this week and has reduced its opening hours, with opening hours from tomorrow onwards “to be confirmed”.

A staff member at the pub told The Argus it had been “much quieter than usual”, and said: “As yesterday was St Patrick’s Day we would normally have expected many more people.

“We have a two-for-one burger offer on tonight but expect to be closing early.”

Bison Beer in North Road has a notice which says the pub is “stepping up cleanliness routines with more disinfectant than ever before” and is asking customers to wash their hand and use contactless payment.

Meanwhile clubs on the seafront including Coalition and Shooshh, as well as Pryzm in West Street, are holding nights for students this week and over the weekend.

Shooshh is offering free entry before midnight today, tomorrow and Saturday for anyone who signs up to its guest list online.