Hayling Island pub 'ahead of the curve' as hosptiality sector prepares for mass reopening

THE manager of a seafront pub says he ‘cannot wait' to see his regulars ordering pints once again.

By David George
Tuesday, 23rd June 2020, 3:50 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd June 2020, 3:51 pm

Earlier today, prime minister Boris Johnson announced that pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and more can reopen in England from July 4.

The Inn on the Beach, on Hayling Island, is one of those pubs which will be swinging its doors back open to the public.

General manager Mark Thornhill said he is overjoyed that the pub can finally reopen.

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Mark Thornhill from the Inn on the Beach, Hayling Island. Picture: Sarah Standing (230620-455)

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He said: ‘We were absolutely delighted by the prime minister’s announcement today – it’s great news for our industry.

‘It feels like it has been a long-time coming, but people’s safety has to come ahead of everything else.

‘Regardless, we cannot wait to get everybody back together again, from our regular visitors to our amazing team of staff and everyone in between.’

Penny Thornhill cleans the floor at the Inn on the Beach, Hayling Island. Picture: Sarah Standing (230620-467)

Like other pubs reopening across the Solent region, a number of social distancing restrictions will be put in place at the venue.

Punters will not be able to order from the bar, with the pub instead operating a table service, with a collection point for people to get their drinks.

But according to Mark, everything that is needed will be in place long before the big day itself.

He said: ‘There’s a couple of things still to do on our end, but we’re in a very good spot.

Inn on the Beach, Hayling Island. Picture: Sarah Standing (230620-473)

‘As part of City Pub Group, we’ve been given great guidance and they have been amazing.

‘We are also rather fortunate in that we have a very large garden, so can sit a good number of people outside while maintaining social distancing guidelines.

‘For the past week we have been working here in anticipation of the government’s announcement, so we are a bit further ahead of the curve than we would have otherwise been.’

Mark added that all the pubs reopening have a responsibility to customers to ensure they understand everything that needs to be done.

‘Everyone has to be on the same page,’ he said.

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