Wetherspoon's social distancing measures for when pubs can reopen

Date published: 28 May 2020

JD Wetherspoon has confirmed it will reopen its pubs, including its three in the Rochdale borough, with social distancing measures when the government gives it the nod.

The company has drawn up plans to ensure that its staff and customers are safe before its pubs reopen, including the Regal Moon in Rochdale, the Harbord Harbord in Middleton and the Edwin Waugh in Heywood, although a date for reopening pubs has not yet been confirmed by the government.

 A spokesperson for Wetherspoon said the company has undertaken extensive employee consultation and has also consulted with many of its suppliers and contractors, as well as referring to UK Hospitality guidelines.

Social distancing measures will result in the employment of two full time staff per pub, slightly more for bigger pubs, who will regularly clean surfaces and touch points throughout the pubs.

The pubs will have screens at the till point, and there will also be screens to create seating areas where it is not possible to separate the tables to the social distancing requirement.

There will be an average of ten hand sanitiser dispensers around the pub, including at the entrance for customers and staff to use.

The pubs will use one entrance with a separate exit door where possible: customer entry and exit will be marked out by floor stickers and/or barriers and there will be clear printed information providing guidance to customers as they enter the pub.

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

Drinks will be handed over by holding the base of the glass, and when ordered via the app, will be delivered on a tray and placed on the table using the base.

Food will be delivered to the table by a member of floor staff, and a slightly reduced menu offered. Sachets of condiments will be available rather than the usual bottles.

All contact points – including door handles, allergen information screens, card payment machines and handrails – will be sanitised by a member of staff during opening hours.

Wetherspoon employees will be provided with gloves, masks and protective eyewear, and can choose whether to wear them or not, subject to government guidelines.

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

Staff will monitor the pub at all times in order to maintain social distancing standards and there will be a member of staff on the door at peak times.

The Wetherspoon pubs will be open their usual opening hours, and all staff will receive a full briefing and training on the new way of running each pub.

Carl Lynch-Rigg, manager at The Edwin Waugh, said: “At present the government have not confirmed any reopening date for pubs. However, it is important that we are prepared for any announcement.

“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.”

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