'I miss the social contact': Pubs mixed over restrictions easing on June 21

Customers at the Adam & Eve pub in Norwich after lockdown restrictions were eased for pubs and resta

Customers sat outside at the Adam and Eve pub in Norwich - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

A Norwich pub owner is hoping it will be full steam ahead when it comes to lifting all coronavirus restrictions on June 21.

Rita McCluskey, landlady of the Adam and Eve, said weeks of track and trace have proved to be time-consuming, while her seating capacity has also been reduced both indoors and outside.

She said: "I most miss the social contact and having a bit of banter with the customers. 

"When you get a pub full of customers there is a lovely buzz and murmur, so I think everything is so totally alien right now, and I am not the only one to feel that way."

Adam and Eve landlady Rita McCluskey. Photo by Simon Finlay

Adam and Eve landlady Rita McCluskey. Photo by Simon Finlay - Credit: Archant

But while some landlords are eager for restrictions to be eased, others are feeling more cautious. 

Briony De'Ath, who runs the Red Lion at Bishopgate, Unthank Arms, Trafford Arms, William and Florence and Chambers Cocktail Company, said: "We will follow whatever guidance there is to keep people safe and if that means waiting a little bit longer then we will just get on with that." 

Nick and Briony De'Ath, owners of The Red Lion pub in Norwich which has opened it's doors to custome

Nick and Briony De'Ath, owners of The Red Lion pub in Norwich which has opened it's doors to customers again. - Credit: Danielle Booden


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Under the current restrictions, there is only table service allowed. The rule of six applies to indoor seating, while groups of up to 30 are allowed outside.

Further afield, Kurt Oliver, owner of The White Hart in Swaffham, said his customers typically like to sit at the bar for a drink if they are alone.

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He said: "They like to have someone to talk to if they are having a quiet pint after work. It can be a lonely place if they are on their own." 

But the landlord, who is also a town councillor, is concerned that the easing of restrictions on June 21 could be a case of "one step forwards, then two steps back". 

"Going into another lockdown would be a nightmare," Mr Oliver said. "It costs around £3,000 every time we close the cellar and more restrictions costs money and manpower." 

Paul Sandford, landlord of Dereham's Railway Tavern, said a delay to the roadmap "would be a setback".

pub landlord outside pub

Paul Sandford, who runs the Railway Tavern in Dereham. - Credit: Archant

He said: "It’s just impossible to plan amid this - that’s been my biggest headache, and for others in the industry." 

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