PUBS across Basingstoke may be inspected by the borough council’s licensing team to ensure they are keeping customers and staff safe.

Many pubs in the borough reopened on Saturday as government lockdown restrictions eased.

However, they are meant to follow a set of guidelines on how to operate to stop the spread of Covid-19.

This includes limiting numbers; the option of ordering food on apps; encouraging customers to book a table in advance; controlled access to the toilets; and protective screens.

Pubs are also expected to keep contact details of customers for 21 days in order to operate contact tracing if someone there was later diagnosed with Covid-19.

Customers must also follow strict guidelines including only visiting a pub with up to six people from two different households, and maintaining social distancing.

The borough council has told the Gazette that its licensing team was out over the weekend visiting licensed premises, and it will continue to do so during the coming weeks.

A statement said: “These visits will be to check that premises are taking the necessary steps to ensure the public and staff safety.

“Their focus is to provide businesses with advice and guidance as they get to grips with new ways of working.

“The council’s licensing officers will be working closely with the police licensing staff, community safety officers and CCTV operators to ensure public safety within Basingstoke and the rest of the borough.”