English pubs reopen today, but they won’t be the same
London, July 3: Asking people in English pubs to keep their distance is going to be tough after they’ve had a few of their favorite tipples.
Pub managers will have to be resourceful come Saturday when they and other parts of the hospitality industry in England open their doors to customers for the first time since March 20, provided they meet Covid safety requirements.
The British government has been accused of being reckless in allowing pubs to open again, given coronavirus infection and death rates are still high and amid evidence that reopening bars in countries like the US has led to new outbreaks. The UK has recorded nearly 44,000 virus-related deaths, third behind the United States and Brazil.
Many cash-starved pubs will take the plunge anyway, though they will be very different from what they were when they shut down given the need to ensure everyone is safe — from registering customers upon entrance to making sure tables are far enough apart to meet social distancing rules.
“I’m nervous,” said Are Kolltveit, who runs the Chandos Arms in north London with his wife Emily. They have turned around the fortunes of the pub in the past few years by taking it back to the community, offering activities like live music — in addition to a finely poured pint of ale. It was voted Best Local in the 2019 British Pub Awards.
“It won’t be the same, but we’ll do our best to make it just as great as ever,” he said.
◗ THE BRITISH government has been accused of being reckless in allowing pubs to open again