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Reopening after lockdown: How Sidmouth's pubs and restaurants might change

By Hannah Corfield

24th Jun 2020 | Local News

The Marine on The Esplanade, Sidmouth
The Marine on The Esplanade, Sidmouth

Quiet music, ketchup sachets instead of bottles and pints ordered on your smartphone are all included within newly released Government guidelines, which will affect how pubs and restaurants in Sidmouth operate once they reopen.

The guidelines published yesterday (June 23), ahead of lockdown measures easing on July 4, ask restaurant and pub owners to ensure that customers can enjoy a meal and a drink with minimised risk to public health.

Included are the obvious measures - such as ensuring social distancing, cleaning bathrooms and reducing contact between people - however, certain precautions are likely to alter the atmosphere inside venues considerably.

Not only will they welcome fewer people in, to ensure that customers are sat further apart, but the stereo or football match on the TV will also be turned down.

The guidance reads: "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 as people start shouting or speaking up they are more likely to launch the virus into the air and spread it to other customers - so-called 'aerosol transmission'.

Pubs and restaurants will also be asked to get their customers to order food directly to their tables using a smartphone app, where possible.

Another casualty of the coronavirus restrictions is the bottle of vinegar and jar of mayonnaise, as the Government encourages businesses to replace these with disposable alternatives.

And gone are the days of picking up your own knives and forks at the counter. Cutlery should only be brought to the table with the food, according to the Government recommendations.

Meanwhile, queues are here to stay, as the guidance to ensure that people wait their turn outside venues is put in place.

This will mean that managers have to co-operate with their neighbours to ensure that queues waiting to get into two different premises do not mingle.

This co-operation could stretch as far as staggering opening times to ensure that people are not queuing and taking public transport to the venue at the same time.

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