An East Ayrshire pub has been reacting to the 16 day closure of bars, restaurants and other licensed premises which is the latest in attempts to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Last week, the Scottish Government implemented a series of measures to tackle the virus which meant all licensed premises were forced to close their doors from Friday, October 9.

It is expected they will reopen on October 26.

Kevin McManus, owner of The Black Bull in Darvel, has spoken out about the enforced closure which he views as another example of the hospitality industry being “thrown under the bus” during the pandemic.

He said: “I knew it was coming as it’s been hinted at for a while so it was a good opportunity to run stock down and avoid losses like we saw during the first lockdown.

“I do think we’re being a little bit unfairly treated. It seems like knee jerk reactionary politics.

“I think because there’s been such an outcry on social media about the fact that pubs shouldn’t have been open in the first place, they are doing it just so they can be seen to be doing something.

“We’re the ones with the strictest restrictions put upon us and we’ve adhered to them as best as we can yet we’re still getting hit. I know many publicans are not very happy.”

He continued: “There’s very little evidence to say hospitality is to blame for a sudden surge in cases, but it couldn’t have come at better time for me myself as a lot of my regulars are having to self-isolate.

“There have been a couple of cases in the village so we would’ve been losing business in the next two weeks anyway.

“Thankfully we’re still able to keep our staff on furlough because that’s our biggest worry, not being able to give staff money to pay rent and bills every week.

“Luckily I only have two members of staff but I have friends who run venues with 30 or 40 members of staff and they are almost certainly losing their jobs. We just have to wait it out now. There’s not much I can do about it.”