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City Pub Group braces for reopening

The City Pub Group has drafted up measures for the safe reopening of its beer gardens, following indications that pubs may be able to reopen at the beginning of July. 

Speaking to the Evening Standard, executive chairman Clive Watson said the operator has outlined a “number of plans” to start trading as soon as it is allowed, to ensure safety and social distancing across its beer gardens. 

Among these plans include the set up of temporary bars across beer gardens or terraces, with staff taking orders from contactless payments, and customers collecting orders from an outside collection point.

The pub group will also implement plastic glasses, paper plates and wooden cutlery, which can be recycled and used as a replacement to tableware.

In order to enforce social distancing, tables will also be spaced out, and the food and drinks menu will both be reduced in order to “make orders quicker and simpler”. Staff will also wear adequate PPE at all times. 

In addition, Watson said customers will be encouraged to pre-book and pre-order food and drinks in order to avoid queues and enable faster service. 

The newly-drawn up plans closely follow an announcement from the government that pubs could reopen from 4 July, with sites with beer gardens among the first that will be allowed to reopen. 

Speaking to the paper, Watson said: “As pubs start to reopen it’s important that this is done with the safety of staff and customers being of paramount importance. We will only open pubs where we can guarantee this safety.

“Pubs are an important part of our everyday lives. By being responsible when we reopen we can hopefully get back to some kind of normality as quickly as possible.”

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