PUBS and restaurants in the city have been forced to close over New Year due to some staff testing positive for Covid-19.

Managers at Hanbao in Foregate Street in Worcester and the Exchange in the Cornmarket have released statements saying they will be closed for the rest of the year because of the number of cases.

However, the managers of other pubs which have experienced staff shortages because of the virus say they will reopen ready for New Year's Eve celebrations. Some pubs remain open but have been forced to close their kitchen temporarily.

A spokesman for burger restaurant Hanbao said on Tuesday: "Due to a number of positive cases within our team, we’ve made the decision to close the restaurant for the rest of the year.

We looked at all avenues to keep things going but protecting our staff and customers will always be our number one priority.

Our management team will reach out to everyone who has made a reservation for this week to cancel/reschedule.

"So long as the there are no further announcements we will be back open Wednesday January 5 as normal - watch this space. We want to thank everyone that has been supportive of us over this uncertain time and we want to apologise for any inconvenience caused. Stay safe and we look forward to seeing you all in 2022."

Managers at the Exchange issued a statement through their Facebook page today (Thursday) which read: "It is with a very heavy heart that I have to share the news that we will be closing from now until Monday. We have had a few positive cases of Covid-19 within the team that have caused severe staff shortages but also we want to put the welfare of our staff and customers first.

We will be closed from today (Thursday) and reopen Monday after a very deep clean of all of the pub and with our manager and remaining staff having negative covid tests.

"We wish you all a very happy new year; we wish we could be spending it with you. Look after each other and have a great time; Stacey & The Team."

A spokesperson for the Swan in Whittington said: "Unfortunately we’ve had to make the difficult decision to close on Wednesday and Thursday. We’re so sorry, our team has been stretched too thin these past weeks. We’ll see you all again on New Year’s Eve."

However, owner Daniel Hulme at the Swan said cases were not connected to the venue itself but to staff contracting the virus over Christmas. He said they only had a small team in the kitchen and it only took two cases of Covid-19 for the kitchen to close. He said: "Our kitchen staff were working so hard over Christmas."

The Swan will be fully open for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. He said all staff would be wearing masks as required and following all social distancing and safety precautions.

Manages at the Prince of Wales in Warndon released a statement on Wednesday on Facebook informing customers they were closed temporarily.

The statement read: "Sorry for any inconvenience but the pub will be shut today due to staff waiting on PCR test."

Meanwhile, a spokesman for The Crown Inn in Main Road, Hallow said on Wednesday: "Due the the amount of our team that we currently have isolating or off sick we have had to make the extremely hard decision to close our kitchen for the next two days. We will remain open for drinks only and really hope to be back fully open as soon as soon as we can. The safety of our team and our guests is important to us and we hope you understand that we have not taken this decision lightly. Many thanks, Marc and all the team."

However, the Oil Basin in Copenhagen Street was gearing up ready for New Year celebrations 'no entry charge'.

Inspector Fergus Green of West Mercia Police urged people to look after each other while celebrating the New Year as extra patrols are deployed during the festivities.

He said: “We hope everyone has an enjoyable New Year’s Eve. If heading out to pubs and clubs we recommend making sure you are with friends and that you look after each other. Be careful of accepting drinks from strangers and don’t leave your drink unattended. Consider booking taxi’s or other transport ahead of time as it is likely to be very busy.

"Dedicated police patrols will be out in the city on the night. Let people know where you are, something like the Holly Guard App is a great tool. New Year’s Eve is traditionally extremely busy for emergency services so if you do need to contact us for something less urgent please use our online reporting tool at so that phone lines are kept as clear as possible for emergency callers.”