PUBS are allowed to re-open this Saturday, having been closed for three months during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Research suggests that more than a third of adults in the UK plan to visit a pub in their first week of trading, with The Centre for Economic and Business Research predicting around 6.5 million pub visits across Saturday and Sunday (around 1.5 million more than a typical weekend in July).

Britons are expected to spend £210m in pubs over the weekend.

However, despite the easing of lockdown restrictions, customers will face a different experience as a result of safety measures and restrictions to minimise the risk of further Covid-19 outbreaks.

Pubs must take the contact details of all their customers, and keep hold of them for 21 days to enable people to be traced if there is a reported case of Covid-19.

Customers must also follow social distancing rules, and will not be allowed to drink at the bar, instead placing orders at a table or using an app.

They must also only meet in groups of up to six people, with a maximum of two households.

Many pubs in the Gazette area have decided to delay their reopening, including The Bakers Arms at the Top of Town, which has said it will remain closed “until further notice” advising customers: “We will continue to work in the background on getting open in the future, so please keep an eye out for further updates.”

The Wheatsheaf, in North Waltham, is going to avoid the weekend rush and resume trading on Monday, when customers will need to book ahead to reserve a table.

The Portsmouth Arms in Hatch Warren won’t re-open until July 19, to “allow for a phased roll out of all of our Hall and Woodhouse pubs”.

The White Hart near the town centre is set to re-open on July 9.

And Barton’s Mill in Old Basing is yet to announce a date, stating: “We have taken the decision to delay our reopening a little longer. The safety of our guests and team is our priority and we continue to work through all our plans to reopen safely and enjoyably.”

One pub which will be reopening on Saturday is Wetherspoons, which will welcome customers to both The Maidenhead Inn at the Top of Town, and The Angel, in Festival Place.

The chain has shared its safety measures with the Gazette, which include installing screens at the till point; screens to create seating areas where it is not possible to separate tables to social distancing requirements; and providing gloves, masks and eyewear which will be optional for employees to wear.

Hand sanitiser dispensers will be available for customers and staff.

Every employee will be required to complete and sign a daily health assessment questionnaire to confirm that they are fit to work, and this will include having their temperature taken using a digital thermometer.

Staff will monitor social distancing, and there will be a member of staff on the door at peak times.

Customers will be asked to use the Wetherspoon order and pay app, wherever possible, or pay at the bar using credit/debit card and contactless, although cash will be accepted.

James Harris, manager at The Angel, said: “We have spent a number of weeks consulting with staff who work in our pubs, as well as area managers in order to draw up our plans. The safety of staff and customers is paramount.”

Other pubs opening on Saturday include the Duck and Tipple in Wote Street, which will welcome customers who have booked a table from 12 noon.

The Dragonfly in Popley will be open again, and has been busy preparing the pub to ensure customers’ safety.

The Queen’s Arms, near Basingstoke train station, reopen on Saturday from 5pm, however its kitchen will remain closed for the time being.

A statement on its website says: “We have of course put in place a number of Covid-19 safety measures relating to social distancing, hand sanitizing stations, guest book as requested by government guidelines and we will now be operating a meet greet and seat table service.”

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