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Pubs ‘stuck in limbo’ with date to reopen but no guidance on how to safely operate

PUBLISHED: 07:30 11 June 2020

Dan Lightfoot is the landlord at the Greyhound pub in Ipswich, a tenant of Adnams brewery. Picture: DAN LIGHTFOOT

Dan Lightfoot is the landlord at the Greyhound pub in Ipswich, a tenant of Adnams brewery. Picture: DAN LIGHTFOOT

Archant

Pubs across Suffolk are gearing up for the tentative date for reopening of July 4 set out by the government, but are struggling to prepare without specific guidance on how to do it.

Nick Attfield, director of properties at Adnams, is keen for the government to issue more guidance on how to open safely. Picture: JAMES BEDFORD/ADNAMSNick Attfield, director of properties at Adnams, is keen for the government to issue more guidance on how to open safely. Picture: JAMES BEDFORD/ADNAMS

While pubs have been given a date for reopening, the government is yet to provide a document outlining the appropriate measures to do so, leaving landlords relying on general guidance such as the two metre social distancing rule.

“It is a bit frustrating but we are planning as much as we can and learning from the retail industry as those shops begin to open first,” said Nick Attfield, director of properties at Adnams brewery.

“We are coming up with protocols and operations for our tenants, but with the caveat that we don’t have that finalised guidance, so it is subject to change.

“We want that stamp of approval to reassure us we are doing the right thing – we want a document outlining what we must do and then we will feel ready to reopen.”

Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney, asked Boris Johnson if pubs could reopen beer gardens from Monday June 15 in the Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday June 10. Picture: PARLIAMENTLIVETVPeter Aldous, MP for Waveney, asked Boris Johnson if pubs could reopen beer gardens from Monday June 15 in the Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday June 10. Picture: PARLIAMENTLIVETV

MORE: Where can I shop? A handy guide to Suffolk stores which are now open – or set to reopen

Dan Lightfoot is an Adnams tenant as the landlord of the Greyhound pub in Ipswich and said while they have been holding Zoom meetings to discuss the possible ways to reopen, the details feel uncertain right now.

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He said: “We have a whole lot of stuff to get in place before we are ready, and while we will be ready when the time comes, for now we are just stuck in limbo.

“We also have no idea how busy it is going to be, so it is going to be difficult working out staffing as we don’t know how many we will need or how many is safe to have in at a time.

“We need more guidance from the government.”

Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney, asked Boris Johnson during the Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday June 10, if beer gardens could reopen on June 15 to prevent staff from being made redundant

However, the PM cautioned that though the government are keen to reopen hospitality as quickly as they possibly can, they will be sticking to the afore mentioned ‘road map for reopening’ date of July 4.

He added: “Guidance is now being developed for such hospitality.

“But what we don’t want to see is a roiling, Bacchanalian mass of people that can spread the disease so it is very important people understand the continuing risks that this country faces.”

MORE: Four Adnams pubs set to reopen on July 4 - but which ones?


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