'I miss the social contact': Pubs mixed over restrictions easing on June 21
- 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."
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."
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".
He said: "It’s just impossible to plan amid this - that’s been my biggest headache, and for others in the industry."