JD Wetherspoon today unveiled his £ 11 million master plan to reopen its 875 pubs in the UK and Ireland as soon as the government gives them the green light in July – but Boris Johnson is pushing harder to do it earlier.
The drinkers will have to disinfect their hands on arrival and several times during their visit, follow the one-way systems up to the toilets and through the bar where the crates will be filtered to protect the personnel likely to wear masks, gloves and protective glasses.
Staff will hand over all drinks holding the bottom of the glass and, when ordered via smartphone, will be delivered to the table on a tray for customers to take to reduce the chances of spilling Covid-19.
The pub chain, founded by Tim Martin, will open during its usual hours from 8 a.m. to around 1 a.m. and encourage customers to order using its app with posters put up telling them “there is no need to visit the bar”. But people can pay in cash or by card at checkout if necessary.
Drinkers will be encouraged to use most of the chain’s large gardens, but indoor tables will be surrounded by screens to ensure social distancing. The chain’s food menu will be reduced and the condiment bottles removed and replaced with sachets to prevent the spread of the coronavirus via ketchup, mayonnaise and vinegar shared.
Each pub will also have a staff member employed to sanitize the pubs, focusing on door knobs, card machines and handrails.
Revealing what Wetherspoons customers will experience after the lockdown, the chain revealed:
- Pubs will use an entrance with a separate exit door if possible. The customer’s entry and exit will be indicated by floor stickers and / or barriers. Door security will monitor incoming and outgoing numbers to avoid overcrowding;
- All its pubs will have screens at checkouts and there will also be screens to create seating areas where it is not possible to separate tables by two meters;
- Wetherspoon will provide gloves, masks and goggles – but they are not required to wear them unless the government says so. They will also have their temperatures taken on arrival for their shifts.
- Staff will return all drinks containing the bottom of the glass and when ordered by the app, they will be delivered to the table on a tray and placed on the table using the bottom of the glass.
- Each pub will have at least ten or more health stations in their hand, and customers should use them upon arrival and repeatedly during their visit. A staff member will be dedicated to disinfecting surfaces;
- The drinks menu will remain the same – but food will be reduced and items should be ordered through the official JD Wetherspoon app if possible. But the cases will be opened and take money; Pubs will provide sachets (ketchup, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, etc.), rather than their usual condiment bottles;
- Workers must return all beverages containing the bottom of the glass and when ordered by the app, they will be delivered to the table on a tray and placed on the table using the bottom of the glass.
This photo shows a Wetherpoon pub in south London while it was still open. Graphics show what could happen if pubs reopen in July
Wetherspoons staff will also receive protective gear this week like this Althorp employee at Wandsworth Common – but will not have to wear it unless the government requests.
Pub staff were consulted on plans released today and offered thousands of ideas for staying safe, the channel said.
Wetherspoon chief executive John Hutson said, “The government has not yet confirmed any dates to reopen pubs.
“However, it is important that we are ready for any announcement.
“We spent a number of weeks consulting with the staff who work in our pubs, as well as the area directors, to develop our plans. We received over 2,500 suggestions from our staff. The safety of our staff and our customers is paramount. “
Wetherspoon has an average customer space of almost 4,000 square feet and nearly 700 of its pubs have either a beer garden, rooftop terrace or outdoor patio.
Pubs, restaurants and entertainment venues can be sure to reopen immediately without risking an increased rate of coronavirus infection, according to a senior scientist.
Oxford University professor Sunetra Gupta says there is a “strong possibility” that businesses will be able to welcome customers once again and avoid the kind of catastrophic consequences the government has warnings could occur if locking restrictions are not relaxed in stable phases.
In addition, she argued that long-term social distancing actually makes the public more vulnerable to infectious diseases, by protecting them from pathogens.
A study by Imperial College London, led by Professor Neil Ferguson, warned in March that almost half a million people could die in the UK if a strict lockout were not applied.
However, Professor Gupta and his team at Oxford have produced an alternative model, suggesting that half of all Britons could already have been exposed to Covid-19 and that the true death rate from infection could be as low as 0.1 %.
The study was controversial, but two months later, the scientist sticks to the results.
Boris Johnson, pictured with Tim Martin, president of JD Wetherspoon, faces pressure to try to open pubs and restaurants earlier to kick-start the economy
Drinkers are pictured at JJ Moon’s Tooting, South London, March 20, the last day of Wetherspoon’s national opening
She told Unherd: “I think there is a chance that we could have done better by doing nothing at all, or at least doing something different, which would have been to pay attention to the protection of the vulnerable , for thinking of protecting the vulnerable 30 or 40 years ago, when we started cutting hospital beds. The roots of this go back a long way.
“The government’s defense is that this [the Imperial College model] was a worse plausible scenario. I agree that this was a worse plausible scenario – or at least possible.
Sunetra Gupta, professor at the University of Oxford, says there is a “strong possibility” that pubs and restaurants can reopen immediately
“The question is, should we act on the worst possible scenario, given the costs of foreclosure?” It seems to me that as the costs of foreclosure increase, this case is becoming more and more fragile. “
Boris Johnson ordered the hospitality industry closed on March 20 and have remained closed since.
However, as the lockout measures were eased slightly last week, the British traveled to parks and beaches to take advantage of the recent warm weather.
Local businesses are also taking advantage of this opportunity after sun seekers were seen yesterday, the hottest day of the year so far, carrying take-away cups away from bars.
This week it turned out that the hotel industry submitted a 75-page report setting out a roadmap for opening restaurants and pubs on July 4, which includes abandoning the hotel buffet and more drinkers at bar.
The case was submitted to ministers by UKHospitality, the industry’s professional body.
It is said that in pubs and restaurants, salt and pepper shakers will be removed from tables and instead brought to customers with cutlery, instead of being on the table when you sit down.
Drinkers will also be discouraged from queuing at the bar, and table service will be encouraged.
To avoid people not following social distancing guidelines, there will be tape on the floor indicating the appropriate distance required.
Pubs might also consider asking customers to order in one box and then pick up the drinks at a separate collection point.
When you leave the pub or have another drink, many people bring their empty glasses back to the bar so the staff don’t have to pick them up.
But the document says the glasses should now be picked up by staff.
Pubs will also need to put in place a washroom plan to keep them from being overcrowded.
Kaomi and Mick Jones, owner and owner of the Hebden Bridge Railway, have a drink outside their closed pub on the hottest day of the year this week. They drew the attention of the police until they explained to the officers that they were within the confines of their home.
Sunseekers were seen in Brighton yesterday, the hottest day of the year so far, carrying take-away cups away from bars