AN AWARD-WINNING Monmouthshire pub has been forced to temporarily close its doors, after a Covid-19 outbreak among their workforce.

The Castle Inn, a local village pub in Usk, has taken to social media, to confirm the news.

They have confirmed that a “small outbreak” has occurred within their pool of employees.

As a result, the Tywn Square venue has shut up shop for a few days.

At this time, it is not known if the positive cases recorded at the pub are a result of the omicron variant – the latest wave of the potentially deadly virus.

It is hoped that they will be able to reopen on New Year’s Eve, though only for drinks, rather than offering a food menu at this time.

But, even if they are able to open in time to see in the new year, pub bosses have reminded customers that the newly introduced covid restrictions will take effect, meaning that the rule of six is in effect, with a maximum of six people from any number of households allowed to gather.

What’s more, face coverings must be worn at all times, unless eating or drinking.

Statement from pub bosses

Taking to social media, a representative from The Castle Inn said: “Unfortunately Covid has finally paid us a visit.

“Regrettably we have to inform our customers that we appear to have had a small outbreak of positive cases within our staff.

“We are encouraging anyone that may have symptoms to ensure they take regular lateral flow tests and refer to the guidance set out by Welsh Government.

“We have not taken the decision lightly but pending PCR test results the pub will be closed fully.

“We anticipate being open for drinks only on New Year’s Eve using all available space. Please do ensure you book your table in advance and remember we can only accommodate 6 people per table. We are all fully aware of the new rules in place so please help us by adhering to them throughout.

“We will update further on Thursday.

“Stay safe and help our staff on New Year’s Eve by wearing a mask, waiting patiently for table service and completing Track and Trace.”

Last year, the pub hit the headlines when it was named Welsh Pub of the Year at the Cardiff and South Wales Prestige Awards.

Joint owner and chef Matthew Dawkins was also named Voice Chef of the Year in 2018, seven years after winning the same award when he was chef at The Star Llansoy.