These are 17 things you should know about how pubs will work this weekend

Pubs are finally reopening this weekend after three months of lockdown, but nipping for a pint will feel quite a bit different than it used to.

By Matthew Calderbank
Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 3:07 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 3:10 pm

A range of special measures are being rolled out at pubs across the county to ensure people's safety and to avoid a second-wave of coronavirus.

And whilst some restrictions are relaxed, other restrictions are coming into place.

These are 17 things you should know about how pubs will work this weekend

Sign up to our daily newsletter

There will be a number of safety measures in place at pubs, including protective screens at the bar. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Before you set off

1. Let's start by stating the obvious - If you have symptoms of coronavirus, DO NOT VISIT - the pubs will still be there with a pint waiting for you once you're fully recovered and feeling better.

2. Pre-book your visit - Some pubs are asking customers to contact them and book their place beforehand to help them make sure their capacity is not reached.

This is because some venues are being asked to limit how many people they can safely serve inside their pub.

Andy Mallon is looking forward to pulling the first pint at the Pleasant Retreat in Lostock Hall, after taking over the pub on the first day of lockdown

Some pubs are using 'time slots', similar to a restaurant reservation - this is to allow as many people as possible the chance to enjoy some quality pub time, safely.

So, before you visit, check with each of the pubs you'd like to go to and see if pre-booking is required, or, if they have other special conditions in place that you need to be aware off.

3. Opening times may vary - Pubs might be closing earlier than usual during the initial phase of reopening, so it might be worth checking beforehand to see what time last orders will be served.

4. Plan your journey - How will you be getting to and from town? If you're catching the bus or train, remember, services are running at reduced capacity due to social distancing, meaning some buses might not stop for you if they are already 'full'.

Having a pint in the pub will be a bit different this weekend due to new restrictions. Credit: Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Buses are expected to be very busy at the weekend, so plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to meet your mates.

Also, face coverings are now compulsory on all public transport, so remember your mask!

Arriving at the pub

5. Giving your contact details at the door - The Government has advised all pubs to take customers' name and contact details at the door. This is in case someone who has visited the pub later tests positive for coronavirus. This enables the NHS to need to track and trace all the people who have come into close contact with that person. If this is the case, you might get a call asking you to self-isolate for 14 days.

Some pubs, including branches of Wetherspoons, will be encouraging customers to use its table service. Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

6. Don't play musical chairs! - Pubs will be arranging furniture in order to ensure social distancing measures are met, so you shouldn't be moving tables and chairs without checking with staff first.

Pubs have been advised that they should ask you to sit down at a table when inside their premises, and you might be asked to try and avoid moving around.

So being social and popping over to other tables for a friendly chat might not be advisable, if they are not part of your group.

7. Expect to wait a little bit longer for your pint - Service might be a bit different or take a little longer than it used to. This is because pubs have been told that they cannot let customers queue or stand at the bar for social distancing reasons, and will be taking orders via table service or phone apps instead.

It might be worth calling your local beforehand to check how they will be operating under the new restrictions.

8. Queuing outside the pub - Due to the reduced capacity inside pubs because of social distancing measures, you might be asked to wait outside until there is room for you to be welcomed inside safely. This is why it might be better to pre-book, if this is an option at your pub.

Plastic screens have been installed between tables at some branches of Weatherspoons. It plans to open 750 of its UK pubs this weekend. Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

And don't rely on the great British summer to keep you dry. It might be best to bring an umbrella or a wear a jacket with a hood in case it starts chucking it down if you find yourself in a queue.

9. Leave your change at home but remember your bank card - Many pubs will be going cashless for the next few weeks to avoid the risk of transmitting coronavirus by cash and close contact between staff and customers.

10. Long queues for the loo - Staff will be deep-cleaning toilets regularly and this might lead to a bit of a wait for the loo. Both men and women's toilets might be restricted to one customer at a time and urinals could be off-limits to maintain social distancing.

11. Hygiene, hygiene, hygiene! - Pubs will be urging customers to wash and sanitise their hands regularly to avoid the risk of spreading coronavirus. It means all pubs should finally be providing soap inside the dispensers and hot running water. What a luxury! Hand sanitiser should also be provided to customers, so take advantage of this golden era of hygiene and help keep a second wave at bay.

12. One-way systems - You might see one-way systems in place inside pubs. This is to help with the 1 metre social distancing rule and to give staff space to move around safely as they visit tables to take orders and bring drinks.

13. Face coverings - The wearing of face coverings is 'good practice', says the Government, but this remains your choice. Also, if you intend to wear a face covering, just be aware that security staff may ask you, from a safe distance of 2 metres, to temporarily take it off it whilst they carry out identity and age verification.

14. More police patrols - Lancashire Police are planning a visible police presence in towns and cities at the weekend. So don't be alarmed if you see more officers than usual. They will be making sure pubs are reopening effectively and complying with the new restrictions so that everyone can enjoy themselves safely.

15. Follow the pub's guidance on safety measures - Pubs have worked really hard to prepare for their long-awaited reopening on Saturday, and each pub might be taking slightly different measures depending on its situation.

Staff are obliged to enforce these safety measures, so don't think they are being snarky if they remind you to follow them. They are just trying to keep everyone safe. It is worth noting that customers who refuse to follow the guidance might be refused service and could be asked to leave the premises.

16. Getting a taxi home - Taxi marshals will be on duty in some towns and cities throughout the weekend, to help people get home safely. In Preston, the black cab rank on Church Street will be moved temporarily to Birley Street.

17. Enjoy yourself and stay safe - Relax, have a good time, and keep yourself and others safe. By following the measures put in place, we can help keep Lancashire's pubs open this summer and avoid a second lockdown. Cheers!