WETHERSPOONS has revealed plans for reopening pubs including a slightly reduced menu and temperature checks for staff.
Pubs were forced to close on March 20, four days before the country went into lockdown due to the coronavirus crisis.
The government has already warned that pubs – along with hairdressers, cinemas and restaurants – won’t be able to fully reopen until July “at the earliest”.
But in the meantime, pubs and restaurant chains have been allowed to operate a food takeaway and delivery service.
Wetherspoons has remained shut, but it’s now started making plans for how to open safely once lockdown is eased.
The measures are part of an £11million investment to keep staff and customers safe.
Apart from checking temperatures before staff are allowed back to work, it’ll also install screens at the till point of all pubs.
To keep customers safe, it’ll employ two full-time staff per pub to regularly clean surfaces and touch points.
These will include door handles, allergen information screens, card payment machines and hand rails.
And if it’s not possible to separate seating areas, Wetherspoons will install screens between tables to maintain social distancing.
Wetherspoons said it’ll open its 875 pubs across the UK and Republic of Ireland, when it has the official go-ahead from the relevant governments.
Customers will be asked to use the Wetherspoon order and pay app, wherever possible, or pay at the bar using a credit or debit card and contactless, although cash will be accepted too.
Wetherspoons chief executive John Hutson said: “At present the government have not confirmed any reopening date for pubs.
“However, it is important that we are prepared for any announcement.
“We have spent a number of weeks consulting with staff who work in our pubs, as well as area managers in order to draw up our plans.
“We have received more than 2,500 suggestions from our staff.
“The safety of our staff and customers is paramount.”
More to follow…