TEMPERATURE controls, time slots and table service are part of the ‘new normal’ of going to the pub in Pembrokeshire.
From today (Monday 13 July) pubs and cafes in Wales will only be able to open outdoors.
Those with limited outdoor space, or no beer garden at all, will have to wait patiently until August 3, when the indoor opening will be signaled.
Others have chosen not to welcome customers until that date, fearing that social distancing will be respected.
More than ready to welcome customers outdoors today, Saundersfoot’s Old Chemist Inn, which has run a busy take-out food service throughout the coronavirus shutdown.
With the Covid-19 certification in place, licensees Rita and Ollie Gibson and their staff are taking every precaution to ensure that the service at their large oceanfront beer garden is as safe as possible, to reassure not only the customers but the inhabitants of the village.
Tables can be reserved for two-hour slots – with a 15-minute cleaning break – for 12 p.m., 2.15 p.m., 4.30 p.m., 6.45 p.m. and 9 p.m.
“Upon arrival, guests will have their temperature checked with a laser thermometer – if it shows amber or red then they will not be allowed in,” said Rita. “There will be anti-ferry stations and customers will need to provide details if it is necessary to use track and trace.
“Our staff will lead groups to their tables one group at a time, and the only time people will be able to leave their tables is if they go to the bathroom or leave the premises.
“We have taken every precaution to ensure the safety and good behavior of our customers.
“We live in a community with a lot of retirees, and we appreciate that there are concerns about the reopening of pubs, so I hope what we have put in place will put people at ease.”
But there was a disappointment for a pub owner who had to delay reopening his beer garden.
Finn from The Cross Inn, Clarbeston Road, posted on Facebook that he received a call from the NHS Track and Trace informing him that he had been in contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19.
He has self-isolated for the required 14 days from the point of contact, after which his beer garden will reopen on Friday July 17 instead of Monday July 13 as scheduled.
Tables and chairs can now be set up in the pedestrianized streets of Tenby as long as businesses have permission from Pembrokeshire County Council, which operates Café Culture throughout the county.
Cllr Phil Baker, member of the authority’s cabinet responsible for infrastructure, licensing and major events, said: “The capacity of pubs, bars, cafes, restaurants etc. to open to the outside must be welcomed; We trust our businesses to operate as safely as possible and in accordance with applicable legislation.
“The objective is to go through this stage in complete safety, together, and to learn the lessons and, in the light of the position of public health, hopefully, move on to the opening of the reception in the room. August 3.
“We ask anyone who is planning to visit Pembrokeshire and its pubs, cafes, restaurants etc. .
“Please view the Visit Pembrokeshire movie clip at www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uiu32uHV7U.”