Pub Chain Claims It's Figured Out How To Open After Lockdown
Oakman Inns plans to put up Perspex screens and introduce one way systems around its pubs, in order to keep people at a safe social distance while also being able to enjoy being in the pub once again.
It sounds like a great idea, but will it actually work in practise? It's not worth doing if people's health could be in danger, right?
The pub chain, which operates 25 venues around the UK, has started testing out its methods at a pub called The Betsy Wynne in Buckinghamshire.
So, instead of going to the bar you order drinks on a smartphone app - so far, so simple. Then, there are two separate doors for people to enter and exit, so as to minimise contact in that respect.
As well as that, Perspex shields have been installed next to all of the tables to stop cross-contamination, and all of the tables - of course - are a safe two metres apart from one another.
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The CEO of Oakman Inns, Peter Borg-Neal, said: "We can run a pub safely with all the conditions of social distancing met.
"The country is desperate for a proper pint in the pub and we are asking the Government to treat us like grown-ups and let us open.
"We strongly believe in this idea and are presenting it to the Cabinet Office via our trade body, UK Hospitality."
He continued: "We want it to be given careful consideration."
As a non-essential business, pubs and restaurants are currently slated to be allowed to open in the third stage of lockdown lifting.
This stage, when we eventually get there, will happen no earlier than 4 July, and will likely see cafes, restaurants, and pubs that have the option of sitting outside being given the go-ahead to start trading first.
However, business as usual seems a far-fetched idea for pubs, at least for the foreseeable future. Furthermore, all venues will have to prove that they can meet safety regulations and show that precautions are in place before they'll be allowed to do anything.
Despite any residual fears, the pubs are keen to open once more, as they've been losing money down the drain - both figuratively and physically, as stock that has now gone off has had to be thrown away.
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