REAL-ale campaigners in the district are urging people to support their 'local'.

The Keighley & Craven branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) says pubs need people's backing now more than ever.

Its rallying call comes after the Government's introduction of a 10pm closing time for pubs, restaurants and bars, as part of measures designed to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Keighley & Craven CAMRA says its usual meetings and events have been suspended to avoid group gatherings, but it is encouraging people to continue visiting pubs with others from their household or support bubble.

Jenny Baker, the branch social secretary, said: "CAMRA meetings and social events – except those that can be held online – are currently suspended to ensure groups of members are not encouraged to gather in pubs, but comply with social distancing guidelines in order to keep everyone safe.

"However, we are encouraging people to support pubs by continuing to visit them as customers – with other members of their household or support bubble."

A national spokesman for CAMRA claimed the Government was unfairly targetting the hospitality sector.

Tom Stainer, for the organisation, said: "Pubgoers and publicans alike want to stop the spread of Covid-19, but this curfew is an arbitrary restriction that unfairly targets the hospitality sector and will have a devastating impact on pubs, jobs and local communities.

"For the third time in a week, CAMRA is calling for the Government to publish the evidence that pubs or restaurants are the source of more transmissions than other sectors across the country – if they aren’t, then why are they being singled out for nationwide restrictions?

“This is punishing the thousands of responsible publicans across England who are providing a Covid-secure environment for their communities, while already operating at greatly reduced levels in their efforts to keep their customers safe."