Now the big question of when we can return to the boozer has finally been answered, another is being asked: What will pubs look like post-lockdown?
Quieter, the government is hoping. Not in terms of attendance; but in volume.
Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement that pubs and restaurants could reopen on July 4, venues have been told to follow a certain set of procedures to help prevent increased transmission of the virus and avoid a second spike in cases.
This includes a lot of rules you might expect: Social distancing, screens, hand-washing, rigorous cleaning and favouring “back-to-back or side-to-side working (rather than face-to-face)”.
But pubs and restaurants are also being told to play music quietly and put a stop to raised voices.
In a newly published set of guidelines for businesses, the government advice states: “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.”
So, when you’re finally back in the local next month, you might be encouraged to keep it down.
Elsewhere in the document, the government has urged businesses to introduce staggered shift patterns and manage the numbers of people entering the premises at any one time.
Pubs and restaurants are being told to calculate the “maximum number of customers that can reasonably follow social distancing guidelines (2m, or 1m with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable, is acceptable).”
PPE for staff is not compulsory, but the guidance does state that “Employers should support their workers in using face coverings safely if they choose to wear one.”
You can read the document online here.