PUBS and restaurants in Marlborough, Devizes and Chippenham areas are bracing themselves for tough times ahead as the government urges people to stay away.

But they are remaining stoic in the face of uncertainty, and many are adapting their trade to the situation.

Graham Thomson has run the Seven Stars in Bottlesford for seven years, and room cancellations are coming in thick and fast. And he is worried.

"We are an independent pub, and do not have deep pockets to keep us going like the big companies.

"We operate on a 30 day run, but we are already 40 percent of the way through that, and I will have to buy time to pay the rent.

"I will undoubtedly have to look at staff reductions and got to a skeleton staff. But we will stay open and do what we can."

He has started a COVID19 takeaway menu service in the rural spot, which has no shops or other pubs or restaurants nearby and says the one good thing that could come of the situation is that pubs return to being social hubs.

"Maybe that will be the new normal," he said. "We have even got a Corona hatch set up at a window for people who want to collect meals."

The Kings Arms in All Cannings is a Wadworth pub. Landlord Barny Baulu is remaining calm and carrying on, saying that he is confident local suppliers are the way forward, keeping the local economy going and avoiding the need for supermarkets.

"Its a tough bit of news," he said. "But we will stay open, stay calm and carry on. We catered for a birthday party today. They didn't want to travel, so we got the food to them." The annual Concert at the Kings charity concert at the Kings Arms is also still on the cards, and tickets are selling for the event in September.

Others are angry at the unclear message from government.

Debbie Still, owner of Mother and Wild restaurant in Corsham, said: "The lack of information being issued by the government concerning establishments like ours, is leaving us in a very difficult situation. We need clearer guidelines on what to do.

"Businesses can't claim on their insurance unless they are forced to close, and the government doesn't seem to be saying that. In the meantime, we have a responsibility to look after our staff and customers without any real guidance."

Others are trying to keep going, despite the uncertainty.

Rick Stein's in Marlborough is remaining open with a business as usual message. They say until they are told to close, they are keeping to bookings and upping their cleaning routines, although they are having more and more cancellations and fewer bookings.

Silmiya Hendricks from Lucknam Park Hotel, Colerne, said:

"At the moment we are fully booked for Mother's Day, however, that may well change. It's too early to say at the moment, as it's only Tu esday. We are continuing with business as usual."