In July, so-called ‘Super Saturday’ marked the opening of pubs and restaurants across the UK. But with some customers now testing positive for coronavirus, are pubs closing again in the UK?
Over the weekend of 4 and 5 July, there were reports of thousands of people descending on areas that are famously packed with bars and pubs and it would appear few social distancing regulations were being followed.
Disorder between revellers forced pubs to close early in some cases and police made a number of arrests, according to John Apter. John is national chairman of the Police Federation for England and Wales, and Sky News.
In a tweet, he said, ‘What was crystal clear is that drunk people can’t/won’t socially distance. It was a busy night but the shift managed to cope. I know other areas have had issues with officers being assaulted. Now heading home, to those still on shift please stay safe.’
So with this in mind, what changes are being made to pubs to ensure this doesn’t happen again? And will they be open for business in the coming weekends?
Are pubs closing again in the UK?
Following the ‘Super Saturday’ weekend, two pubs closed in Somerset, one in West Yorkshire and one in Gosport. At the time, the latter said on Facebook, ‘The pub is now shut but all being well will open again on Saturday. Anyone who was in the pub over the weekend there is no need to isolate unless you show symptoms or are contacted direct by the trace group. Thank you and hope to see you soon.’
However despite these quick closures following that busy weekend in July, it’s likely that pubs across the UK will stay open in the coming months and won’t close down unless the site gets a report of a coronavirus case.
While naturally the spread of coronavirus in pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes remains a concern for the government and revellers alike, Super Saturday’s closures happened in specific areas of the country and they are being dealt with.
Pubs reopening in the UK come as we surpassed four months in lockdown in July, with the hospitality industries amongst the worst hit economically. Although takeaways from pubs and restaurants have been allowed since June, the reopening of the pubs was considered the next step in lifting the lockdown measures.
However, pubs reopened only in England on July 4. In Scotland, they were allowed to reopen later in the month while in Northern Ireland as of August 4, the reopening of pubs and other leisure venues was put on hold due to a surge in cases.
What new social distancing guidelines are in place?
Pubs, restaurants and bars are considered some of the more tricky places for social distancing, due to the proximity of customers to each other and the levels of alcohol being consumed. However, more social distancing measures were put in place by the pubs who confirmed coronavirus cases over the weekend.
- All staff taking coronavirus tests.
- The venue being deep-cleaned prior to reopening.
- Limiting the number of people allowed inside.
- A one-way system around the building.
- One-in and one-out policy on using toilets.
Similar measures have been implemented across pubs and bars in the UK. Large chains like Green King, who own over 3,000 pubs in the UK, released clear guidance in advance of reopening on rules in pubs.
Stay safe this weekend, everyone.