With pubs and restaurants now allowed to reopen across the UK, I thought I’d see for myself what the ‘new normal’ was like. Have you ventured out yet?
There’s been much talk about what the ‘new normal’ would be like for pubs and restaurants once lockdown restrictions were lifted.
Would it be safe? Would it be weird? Would it feel very different to how things were before?
I’m fortunate to not live with anyone classed as high-risk should they catch the virus, so last week I visited a pub for the first time since March.
My boyfriend and I decided to go on a Tuesday night, just in case the weekend became too busy for our liking.
We booked a table at our local pub in advance and gave our contact details, which are needed in case the pub has to contact us in line with the NHS track and trace programme in the event of an outbreak.
Masks and hand sanitiser
We arrived and the staff had a little booth at the front and they were wearing face masks. They advised us to use hand sanitizer on our hands and then they took us to a seating area that could fit up to four people.
There were also other people sitting at booths and tables around us but it didn’t feel busy – we felt there were a comfortable number of people.
We used an app to order our drinks and some food, and the waiters brought it to us – table service is the way forward for the time being, in order to avoid people crowding together at the bar.
There were plastic screens at the bar as well, so one or two people could go to the bar if they needed to.
Do you feel comfortable heading out?
Overall it turned out to be an enjoyable experience. I was expecting to feel overwhelmed by the safety and hygiene rules, but the measures at this pub made us feel safe whilst also allowing us to relax and enjoy a glass of wine and a pint in an environment that wasn’t our home!
We’ve since booked to go for a meal at a tapas restaurant and are really looking forward to it. It’s nice to be able to spend money in our area and at local businesses that will have really suffered during a very difficult time.
How do you feel about the new safety measures in pubs and restaurants?
Have you visited one yet? Or are you still staying at home?