Regulations which threaten to prevent pubs from taking card payments inside have been amended at the eleventh hour, MCA understands.

The Telegraph reported customers should prepare to take cash to the pub with them next week to avoid falling foul of new rules that say staff should take payments for drinks outside.

Guidelines were reported to ban pubs from taking payments indoors, but with some rural pubs unable to take payment outside due to mobile signal, and others facing licensing restrictions, the rule has been amended.

The amendment to the rules will allow customers to go inside as a “last resort”, with UK Hospitality reportedly meeting officials on Tuesday to push for a U-turn.

Kate Nicholls told the Telegraph consumers should bring cash to the pub next week, as well their phone to check-in to NHS track and trace.

Tim Martin, the boss of the JD Wetherspoon pub chain, said the new rules showed the Government had “lost the plot with its control freakery”.

“Publicans will have to jump through fiery hoops yet again to comply with this daftness,” he said. “A sensible set of rules was agreed last summer involving inside use of pubs. There were no virus outbreaks at all in Wetherspoon pubs and there were almost none in the industry. The UK Government makes the EU look like a bastion of sensible regulation.”