Lilley's Cider delivery drivers make last run before being laid off in the wake of coronavirus

A craft cider business in Somerset has had to lay off the majority of its staff after sales plummeted in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Lilley's Cider in Frome sent its delivery drivers out on their last run this morning [March 20], after announcing they would have to let 24 of their 32 staff members go.

Although online sales are doing well, the company has lost 80% of its business. Credit: ITV News

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a press conference this week that new advice states pubs, bars and restaurants should be avoided to stop the spread of infection.

The resulting drop in footfall meant Lilley's lost 80% of its average business, with demands for stock in hospitality businesses sharply declining.

However online sales for the company are booming, and director Marc Lilley says the drastic job losses were needed to maintain basic staffing levels during the crisis.

Drivers losing their jobs worry they'll lose their homes. Credit: ITV News

Bryan Loftus, one of the drivers losing their job, said the news means he could be left homeless.

Co-director Marc Lilley has told ITV News that the government needs to give businesses a timeframe for how the Covid-19 fallout is dealt with.

He added Lilley's Cider still only stands to be a viable business for three months - even without paying wages.