Thirsty customers will finally get the chance to enjoy a pint in a pub from Saturday as venues in England reopen.
Pubs, restaurants and cafes can open their doors again this weekend after the government relaxed lockdown restrictions, but venues have to prove they can properly protect customers and staff from the spread of coronavirus.
It means pubs and bars across the country have had to undergo major redesigns and implement strict new rules to ensure they are Covid-secure when they welcome visitors.
Wetherspoons has splashed out £11million to make sure everyone is safe when 875 of the chain’s 900 bars open up, The Sun reports.
Furniture has been rearranged to ensure social distancing can be upheld, while cleaning will take place more regularly.
But a series of rules have also been put in place for customers to follow when they drop by for something cold and refreshing.
The number of customers allowed inside at any one time is limited, so people may have to wait outside before being allowed in.
Wetherspoons, unlike other pub chains, isn’t taking bookings, so tables are first come, first served.
Signs are being put outside bars to make sure people distance properly in the queue, while bars will have single entrances and exits in place.
Pub bosses have installed hand sanitiser stations at entrances and exits so customers can clean their hands before going inside.
There will be other hand gel stations throughout the venue to allow visitors to stay clean.
Maximum group sizes
Customers are being asked not to turn up in large groups and to ensure they are social distancing properly.
Staff will ask large groups to split up, and if the bar becomes overcrowded they may be asked to leave.
Order food and drink with the app
To prevent the bar area from becoming crowded, customers are being urged to use the free Wetherspoons app to place their orders instead.
Staff will then bring food and drink straight to your table.
But customers who don’t have a smart phone will still be able to place an order at a designated till point at the bar.
They must then return to their table and wait for staff to bring their order to them.
Pay with the app
Customers using the app will have to pay for their order before it gets processed at the bar.
Meanwhile customers who need to pay at the bar will be asked to use contactless payments, as the limit has now been upped to £45 for cards and £100 if you use Apple or Google Pay.
Cash will still be accepted at specific tills if necessary, while Wetherspoons will allow gift cards to be used for another six months beyond their original expiry date.
Recycle menus after they’re used
Customers using the app can view the menu on their phones, but customers can also get disposable menus if they want one.
The paper menus will be disposed of and recycled after a single use.
No smoking near doorways
In a bid to keep entries and exits clear, customers will be told they can’t quickly nip outside for a cigarette.
People will have to either step away from the doorways to smoke or go to the bar’s designated smoking area if it has one.
Kids must stay seated
Families are still welcome at Wetherspoons, but parents will have to make sure kids remain seated, as well as accompanying them to the toilet.
You can’t move the tables
Furniture has been rearranged carefully to meet social distancing guidelines, so customers won’t be allowed to move tables.
Tables have been placed at least a metre apart from each other to meet government guidance, with signs reminding customers not to move them.