THE highest pub in England has been forced to close its doors until next week due to a stressful week of two potential Covid-19 cases.

Tan Hill Inn, set high on the Pennines between North Yorkshire and Cumbria at 1,732 feet, has been open for 500 years and not even the harshest snow storm is enough to close its doors for very long.

But due to two potential coronavirus cases among staff – one of which has already resulted in a negative result – the team has taken the difficult decision to close until October 30.

Owner Andrew Hields said: "As soon as we heard about the first possible case we told everyone who'd been contact with him to isolate, closed the pub and brought in a fumigation company to help us clean. Then a contractor who works for us had to take a test due to his wife testing positive. We are still awaiting that result."

Mr Hields has invested in Antigen kits – NHS-approved tests which give results in 15 minutes – and their own fumigating machine.

He has also instructed a HR firm which specialises in Covid-19 procedures to assist them in future.

But despite the challenges faced by the hospitality industry for the foreseeable future due to the possibility of more shut-downs, the team are excited about the coming months.

Mr Hields said: "We are just finished three amazing domes to allow people to dine outside – and two double up as bedrooms so couples can sleep under the stars.

"They will be absolutely fantastic and are really excited for our guests to try them.

"We are offering three course meal with wine, followed by an overnight stay. We will also be running breakfast and lunches outside."

From November, the pub will be host to some of Santa's reindeers, which will be staying at Tan Hill in case Santa needs reserves on Christmas Eve.

Father Christmas himself will also be in attendance throughout December. Bookings can be made online or via Facebook.

Visit The Tan Hill Inn on Facebook for details.