A Norfolk pub will close on Boxing Day after the owners decided not to take staff away from their families after a tough year.

Couple Craig Grant and Lucy Bull took on The Crown Inn in Pulham Market, near Diss, in July this year and were looking forward to their busy first Christmas.

However, rising Covid cases and the Omicron variant has led, like all pubs and restaurants across the UK, to a drop in bookings and rising cancellations.

As a result, the pair announced this week on The Crown Inn Facebook page their plans to now close on December 26.

The statement said: "We simply cannot take Boxing Day away from our team to have an empty establishment or very little footfall.

"We understand 100pc why people have decided to stay indoors and why many people have cancelled bookings so we hope you all can understand why we have made this decision."

It continued: "Family is important and staff would be disappointed if we opened and took the time away from them for nothing especially as they are working all the way up until Christmas Day."

The pub will still be open Christmas Eve and for Christmas Day lunch, then it will back open on December 29 as normal.

The pair are also giving out 100 free Christmas dinners to vulnerable local people.