‘It doesn’t change much’: pubs prepare for ‘rule of six’

The team at The White Hart pub in Swaffham. From left trainee chef Gordon, chef Leo, catering manage

The team at The White Hart pub in Swaffham. From left trainee chef Gordon, chef Leo, catering manager, Karen, bartender Amy, Kurt Oliver, Laura Oliver and bartender Louise. Picture: The White Hart. - Credit: Archant

Norfolk pubs are preparing for a busy weekend, with sunshine forecast and new coronavirus rules coming in on Monday.

The White Hart, Swaffham. Pic: Archant library

The White Hart, Swaffham. Pic: Archant library - Credit: Archant

The county’s hostelries are expecting a good turnout of customers wanting to squeeze every drop out of the end of the summer.

But owners said they were not too concerned about the ‘rule of six’, which starts from Monday - saying: “It doesn’t change much.”

Prime minister Boris Johnson announced new “simplified” rules stating from Monday, September 14 only social groups of six could meet indoors or outdoors, by law.

The rules have previously stated groups of six people from a maximum of two households could meet indoors with six people from any household being able to meet outside.

The Crown pub's new Italian restaurant Bella Corona. Picture: Alie Hannam

The Crown pub's new Italian restaurant Bella Corona. Picture: Alie Hannam - Credit: Archant


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For Norfolk’s pubs this means the rules have not changed much, with Kurt Oliver, owner of The White Hart in Swaffham saying they were expecting this weekend to be similar to recent ones.

He said: “We are expecting a similar level to last weekend with it being as busy as it can be with our reduced intake.

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“The rules haven’t changed that much. Six people from two households were able to come indoors with groups of six from any household being outdoors.

“Now six people from any household are able to come inside. We’re only allowing groups of more than six if they are all in the same household and we are asking them to book ahead of time.”

Alie Hannam, Owner of The CROWN and Bella Corona Italian Restaurant. Picture: Alie Hannam

Alie Hannam, Owner of The CROWN and Bella Corona Italian Restaurant. Picture: Alie Hannam - Credit: Archant

Alie Hannam, 51, owner of The Crown in Fakenham, said her pub would be policing its outside area to make sure the rules were followed.

She said: “We have discos tonight and tomorrow. We always go by government guidelines and have done since day one.

“We take track and trace and temperature off everyone that comes in: none of this leaving slips on the tables hoping people will fill them in.

“Tables are almost fully booked for Saturday, always within their bubble, and westill have a few for tonight.”

She added: “As of next weekend, the tables will be six maximum. I would like to add that our customers are very respectful and are great at obeying the government guidelines, especially the younger crowd.”

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