A WETHERSPOON pub in the New Forest has been forced to ramp up security measures while it remains closed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Like thousands of watering holes across the UK, The Six Bells in Lymington has not opened now for more than a fortnight following the government lockdown.

Initially after pubs were ordered to close, the inside of venue in St Thomas' Street could still be seen by passersby.

However, following an attempted raid and subsequent break in at the pub, the chain has taken the decision to secure the premises with metal sheeting.

This move had led some people to speculate online that the establishment had closed for good but Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said this is not the case.

He said: “ The pub suffered two break ins within quick succession of having to close despite all cash and stock being removed.

“The boarding up is only for additional security measures.

“The pub is not closed permanently and we look forward to reopening it as and when the government allows.”

Mr Gershon said police were called about both break ins, which took place on March 23 and March 29.

A Hampshire Constabulary spokeswoman said: "We can confirm the first attempted break in occurred at 2.15am on March 23. Two males were seen to be trying to break in through the rear doors of the Six Bells pub in St Thomas Street, Lymington.

"They were unable to gain access and fled when the alarm system sounded. The males are described as both being white, in their 20s, both wearing denim jeans, black hoodies with the hoods up and dark trainers.

"The second incident occurred at 12.57am on March 29. The suspects forced the rear doors of the same pub and smashed open two fruit machines. There was no money in the machines, which had been emptied before the pub had closed due to the lockdown period."

No arrests have been made. Anyone with information about the incidents should call police on 101, quoting reference 44200113803.