Wetherspoons announces huge change to its pubs for when they reopen

Pubs are set to reopen around the country this weekend, as the government has given the go-ahead for bars and restaurants to get back up and running from July 4. However, there are strict guidelines in place in order for pubs to reopen to the public. Wetherspoons has outlined how it will be keeping customers safe – including one shocking change to its pubs. 

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The government revealed specific guidelines for businesses wishing to reopen in July in order to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. 

While the pandemic has meant that local pubs and restaurants have had to close for the last few months, many will be reopening this weekend with new rules in place. 

Wetherspoons, which has almost 900 pubs around the UK, is one chain that is set to welcome back its punters from Saturday. 

However, the cheap and cheerful chain will have a different feel to it for some thanks to its new policies and guidelines. 

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The budget pub has announced that it will not be showing any football or sporting events when it reopens. 

The news will be a blow to some who were hoping to grab a pint while watching the latest match, but the company is playing it safe.

The government advice strictly said: “All venues should ensure that steps are taken to avoid people needing to unduly raise their voices to each other.

“This includes, but is not limited to, refraining from playing music or broadcasts that may encourage shouting, including if played at a volume that makes normal conversation difficult.

“This is because of the potential for increased risk of transmission, particularly from aerosol transmission.”

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Customers may be disappointed to hear the news, but the move could make a difference to the levels of transmission. 

The company has posted an update on its website to reveal the ways that it will be protecting staff and customers from the virus. 

“In advance of reopening, a comprehensive review of pub and hotel operations has taken place – and the Wetherspoon COVID-19 Secure Operating Plan has been developed,” a statement read. 

“It has been written following extensive consultation with employees, at all levels, and incorporates advice from government, Reading Borough Council (which liaises with other local authorities on our behalf) and others. In addition, the trade association UK Hospitality has developed its own protocols (COVID-19 Secure advice and risk assessment for hospitality businesses) which have been incorporated also, where relevant.

“Operating safely in a COVID-19 environment is essentially a matter of trying to eliminate the risk of transmission of the virus and, where that is not possible, introducing mitigating measures – for the safety of employees, customers and others with reason to visit our pubs.”

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Wetherspoons has also posted a cheat sheet of FAQs for customers looking to come back to the pub when it reopens. 

The chain said: “We have decided not to show football or sporting events during July.

“As our pubs reopen, our focus will be on meeting social distancing requirements and keeping our customers and staff safe. For this reason and to avoid crowds congregating, no football or sporting events will be shown on our TVs during July.”

However, the rules will be updated with new information for August, suggesting the policies may change. 

As well as turning off the televisions, the pub chain has put in place other measures to keep punters as safe as possible. 

Customers will have to keep the bar clear, queueing only at the till to get the drinks in, and capacity will be restricted. 

Furniture has been specifically positioned for social distancing and shouldn’t be moved, while children have to stay seated so that they’re not moving between tables. 

The chain is also offering table service so that you can order and pay for food and drinks via the Wetherspoons app, and front doors will be left open for extra ventilation. 

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