A PUB near Fordingbridge has reopened with reduced trading hours following a weeklong closure brought on after “unbelievable” staff shortages caused exhaustion.

The Cartwheel Inn pub closed on Monday, August 30 in order to give staff a rest for their “physical and mental health”.

Landlord and chef Paul Somerville told the Daily Echo: “We are well rested and are very pleased to have reopened. We have decided to only open for five days a week now as staff levels are at an all-time low across the industry.

“We actually restricted customer numbers before we closed because of this and will continue to restrict numbers so we can keep providing great service.”

Prior to closing, Paul said that the pub had been searching for a relief chef all summer, but an “unbelievable” nationwide chef shortage meant they could not hire anyone.

In the time since, Paul says the pub is no longer looking for a chef and that they would trade from Wednesday to Sunday.

When physical dining was impossible due to the pandemic, The Cartwheel provided takeaway dinners for residents. Paul said that they made around 120 meals every week during that time.