‘Customers who flout new rules will be asked to leave’: Pub owners to get tough on safety

PUBLISHED: 16:29 24 June 2020 | UPDATED: 16:29 24 June 2020

Dawn Hopkins at the Rose, Queen's Road. Pic: Archant

Dawn Hopkins at the Rose, Queen's Road. Pic: Archant

Pub owners are making it clear they will be tough on any customers not following safety rules as they hurry to reopen.

Tim Elwes and his family at the Saracen's Head. Pic: ArchantTim Elwes and his family at the Saracen's Head. Pic: Archant

After the prime minister’s announcement, business owners were getting to grips with what is actually expected of them.

Hotels were busy drafting new cleaning regimes. At Dunston Hall, near Norwich, bedrooms are to be emptied of additional furnishings such as cushions and throws along with cutlery and glassware being replaced by disposable sets. Under the new rules, cleaning applies to every single item in bedrooms, even the TV remote controls, which need to be disinfected and then given a sticker saying they are safe.

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Dunston Hall. Pic: ArchantDunston Hall. Pic: Archant

For pub owners, they were considering how to enforce social distancing with the guidelines stating venues must not encourage large gatherings. Dawn Hopkins, who runs the Rose in Norwich and is vice-chairwoman of the Campaign for Pubs, said she would have no qualms about asking people to leave if necessary.

“My customers are very respectful and no doubt will follow the rules but there will be cases where people simply forget. They’ll get a gentle reminder but if anyone is not following rules on purpose, they will be asked to leave for the safety of everyone.”

She welcomed the fact the guidelines did not mean pubs would have to spend a lot of money to reopen and the fact business could return indoors as she did not have much outdoor space. She does not usually show sport on TV but being close to the football ground, gets packed out on match days, before and after the games.

“We’ll just have to wait and see how we are going to manage this, it’s not a problem yet as fans aren’t allowed to the matches.

“We are going to give it a go, we are being positive and want to give our customers a good experience because they’ve waited so long for it.”

Tim Elwes, who runs the Saracen’s Head in Wolterton, north Norfolk, said he had had a meeting already with his chefs who were “fed up with cooking for themselves and their wives” and excited to be serving again. He planned to be open for food Wednesday-Sunday initially.

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“The only concern really is that regulars who come in might not be able to have their favourite table.”

Dunston Hall manager David Graham was being briefed on a list of new guidelines being brought in by owners Almarose Hotels and Resorts including a new ‘clean and safe’ regime for bedrooms. However, he confirmed the leisure club with the swimming pool was to remain closed for now.

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