THE decision to place the county in tier 2 means some rules will become stricter when the national lockdown ends next month.

Tier two rules ban households from mixing indoors and the rule of six will apply to people meeting outside.

This means you cannot meet up with people you do not live with or people who are not in your support bubble at pubs and restaurants and groups of no more than six people can meet in public places such as parks.

Some city landlords are saying the stricter rules will have a devastating effect on their businesses.

Pubs and restaurants can close at 11pm but can only serve alcohol with a “substantial” meal but the bell for last orders will ring at 10pm.

Jackie Barry, owner of the Northwick Arms in Worcester, said she felt like the government had pulled the rug out from under her feet.

She has now applied for a licence to sell food which will prove expensive for a pub starved of income.

"They've left us with nothing," she said. “Because we don’t officially serve food, we are being penalised.

“We’ve had no income for months; we still have to pay our rent and we still have to pay our bills the same as everyone else. I don’t understand the rules, it makes no sense to me.

"We might not provide food but we are an independent businesses and we really do support the local community. For a lot of customers, this is their only social interaction.

"Lots of small independent businesses are just going to go to the wall because they just have nowhere to go."

All shops, including non-essential businesses, will be allowed to reopen as will places of worship under tier 2 rules. Weddings can go ahead with 15 guests and 30 people can attend funerals.

Crowds and audiences at indoor entertainment venues and outdoor sports events will be limited to 50 per cent of capacity or 2,000 people outdoors and 1,000 people indoors - whichever is lower.

Grassroots sport can also restart, gyms can re-open and hairdressers and beauty salons will be allowed to open.

Decisions on tiers were based on Public Health recommendations using case detection rate in all ages but particularly in the over-60s; how quickly rates are rising or falling, the number of positive cases and current and projected pressure on the NHS locally.

The Department of Health said Worcestershire had been placed in tier 2 because the number of cases was still too high to be placed in tier 1 and hospital admissions had stabilised enough to reduce the need of being placed in tier 3.

The government says the system will be reviewed fortnightly.