One of the UK’s biggest pub chains, JD Wetherspoon, has revealed a £11m masterplan to safely reopen its pubs in Gedling borough.
The popular chain – which has three pubs in the borough – plans to open the venues when more lockdown restrictions are lifted.
But when the pubs do reopen their doors, customers can expect certain measures to be in place to ensure they are covid-secure.
The chain’s new plans reveal that drinkers will be expected to sanatise their hands on arrival and follow one-way systems through the bar where the tills will be screened off to protect staff, who will be provided with PPE including masks, gloves and eye protection.
Drinkers will be encouraged to sit outside in the pubs’ gardens, while tables inside will be surrounded by screens to ensure social distancing. The chain’s food menu will be scaled back and condiment bottles removed and replaced with sachets.
Once the pubs get the green light to reopen, they will operate their usual opening hours which typically is 8am to midnight Sunday to Thursday and 8am to 1am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Wetherspoons said it has consulted with employees, suppliers and contractors about the plans, as well as referred to UK Hospitality guidelines.
Its chief executive John Hutson said: “At present the government have not confirmed any reopening date for pubs.
“However, it is important that we are prepared for any announcement.
“We have spent a number of weeks consulting with staff who work in our pubs, as well as area managers in order to draw up our plans.
“We have received more than 2,500 suggestions from our staff.
“The safety of our staff and customers is paramount.”