A pint of suc­cess

Public are back in droves

The Galloway News - - Front Page - STU­ART GILLE­SPIE

Pun­ters have been rush­ing back to pubs for a cool pint this week.

Bars with beer gar­dens were al­lowed to re­open on Mon­day morn­ing, wel­com­ing cus­tomers for the first time since lock­down was im­posed in March.

Strict guide­lines are in place to en­sure so­cial dis­tanc­ing is main­tained and to pre­vent the spread of the coro­n­avirus.

Sharon Sloan, of The An­chor Ho­tel in Kipp­ford, said:“It’s been pretty good.

“We’re weather de­pen­dent and on Mon­day we had quite a few peo­ple sit­ting out­side, al­though it was blow­ing a gale. We got great sup­port and there were peo­ple we hadn’t seen for a while who are back at their hol­i­day homes.

“Tues­day was a bit qui­eter as the weather wasn’t as good but it’s better than no cus­tomers at all.

Pubs which have re­opened have to fol­low strict Scot­tish gov­ern­ment guide­lines.

Sharon added:“We have a one-way sys­tem and one in, one out for the toi­lets.

“When we can open in­side we’re go­ing to keep it at two me­tres even if we can re­duce it to one me­tre as we have a big space and won’t lose too many cov­ers.”

Au­drey Kelly, from The Gar­ret Ho­tel in Kirkcud­bright, added:“Mon­day was pleas­antly busy, which was great. Our open­ing hours are from 11am un­til 11pm which gives ev­ery­one the op­por­tu­nity to pop in. They are not hav­ing to cram in.

“Tues­day was a bit qui­eter, which was fine as well, and I imag­ine the good weather will bring peo­ple out.

“We had a fairly large space so we have been able to put in place two me­tre dis­tanc­ing. Peo­ple are shown to their table so there’s no wan­der­ing.

“No one is al­lowed in un­less they use hand sani­tiser, which ev­ery­one is used to now any­way, and we have also in­tro­duced an app which has been great. It means peo­ple can or­der and we’ll get it ready for them at the bar and take it out to them. It also means no one is han­dling cash and the staff are wear­ing vi­sors.

“We have a whole sys­tem for the toi­let and be­fore we just had wooden benches at the tables but now we have cov­er­ings which makes it eas­ier to clean them.”

While wel­com­ing the re-open­ing of some pubs and cafes, South of Scot­land MSP Emma Harper has urged peo­ple to act re­spon­si­bly.

She said:“While I want ev­ery­one who can take ad­van­tage of the new rules to en­joy them­selves, I want to ap­peal to ev­ery­one to stay safe, to stay sen­si­ble and to fol­low all the safety mea­sures which are in place to re­duce the risk of the spread of Covid-19.

“Dum­fries and Gal­loway has many fan­tas­tic, high qual­ity pubs and restau­rants. Please sup­port them and be pa­tient with the staff and with other cus­tomers as we get used to the new way of do­ing things.”

Al­though beer gar­dens and other out­door seat­ing ar­eas are now back open, in­door cafes and pubs need to wait un­til Wed­nes­day, July 15, be­fore they can re-open their doors.

And some places are stay­ing shut for even longer.

The Cas­tle Dou­glas branch of Le­gion Scot­land is work­ing to­wards re-open­ing its bar on Au­gust 6.

And nearby Mar­ket Inn is“lean­ing to­wards”wait­ing a bit longer than July 15 to re­open.

Serv­ing drinks Donna Mur­doch at the An­chor Ho­tel in Kipp­ford

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