English pubs re­open to­day, but they won’t be the same

The Asian Age - - Front Page -

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

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