NEARLY half of the Scily Isles pubs have closed – leaving just three boozers open in the entire country.
The tiny islands off the Cornish coast are the only place in England where punters can still enjoy a pint.
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Lucky revellers among the islands' population of 2,000 were pictured toasting New Year’s Eve in bars while the rest of Britain made do with their living room sofas.
At least four of the islands' nine pubs were shut on New Year’s Day, with some not reopening fully until April.
The Bishop and Wolf and The Atlantic Inn on main island St Mary’s are among boozers to have now shut.
On neighbouring St Agnes, The Turks Head, the most southwesterly pub in the British Isles, won't open more than one night a week until April.
The boozer usually opens on New Year’s Eve, but kept its doors shut this year.
One islander told Sun Online: "It's a tiny island.
“There's nobody here. You can walk around the island in 20 minutes. If you go for a five-mile jog you run round it two or three times.
"There are about 80 people living on the island – that includes children all the way through to retirees.
"The actual people who would be in that bracket who would be legal or able to come to the pub is quite small.
“Customers come here to the islands in the summer so when it is safe we will welcome tourists back with open arms.”
A notice on The Seven Stones Inn's website, the only pub on the island of St Martin's, says: "We are open for the summer season every day from April until October."
Tier one coronavirus rules mean pubs have to stop serving alcohol to punters by 10pm.
But they can remain inside boozers for another hour after that.
At The Fraggle Rock bar on remote Bryher, around 16 punters raised money for the NHS at a £15-a-head charity chilli and bingo New Year’s Eve bash.
But the pub was closed on New Year’s Day and usually only opens occasionally in the winter.
Sue Hopkins, 61, who runs the pub with her husband Chris, 65, said: “We were very fortunate we were able to have a drink and a socially distanced meal.
“About 16 came in the end, just islanders. No strangers.”
She added: “It’s kind of not the season for us to be open really. In winter we only do Friday fish and chip night really, or the odd takeaway.”
Staff at The New Inn on picturesque Tresco weren't sure if the pub would open for the remainder of the winter.
But The Mermaid, The Old Town Inn and Jack's Micro Bar on St Mary’s are among the tiny number of pubs left in England were boozers can still order a pint.
Speaking on New Year’s Day, landlord Dan Latham, 33 said: “We had a good night on New Year’s Eve, it was busy.
“There were about 80 odd people. The pub is probably about half full at the front today.
“We are staying open.”
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