Pub landlords say they are 'buzzing' to finally reopen their doors to punters again after Boris Johnson gives the green light

LANDLORDS said they were ‘buzzing’ at the prospect of finally being able to reopen their doors to punters again.

By Steve Deeks
Monday, 5th April 2021, 9:40 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 12:07 pm

Pubs with beer gardens were officially given the green light to reopen on April 12 after prime minister Boris Johnson confirmed the move as part of England’s roadmap out of restrictions.

Non-essential shops and hairdressers in England will also be able to reopen.

Pubs and restaurants will be allowed to open indoors no earlier than May 17.

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Emma Parry and manager Steve Hudson at The Kings, Albert Rd, Southsea. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

But those with outdoor spaces cannot wait to get started next Monday.

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19 pubs with beer gardens reopening from April 12 that you can book tables at in...

Paul Taylor, landlord of the Rose in June on Milton Road, Kingston, said: ‘I’m absolutely buzzing and am really looking forward to it.

‘As long as everyone is sensible there won’t be a problem. It will be a difficult one to police but we will have fun doing it.

Landlord of The Chairmakers Angus Reid. Picture: Sarah Standing

‘We have a very big garden which helps with social distancing. There is a lot more work for us now with table service and making sure people follow rules but if people are cautious then it will be fine.’

Steve Hudson, who runs The Kings on Albert Road, Southsea, said: ‘I’m very excited both personally and professionally.

‘It will be limited to begin with but hopefully we are on the right track to all restrictions being lifted by June 21.

‘We are getting things ready to reopen including getting our staff back off furlough, painting the front and doing other preparations which we are ramping up.

‘The punters will be happy to be back. We’ve just got to make sure we stick to the rules and get through this next stage so we are allowed to then let people indoors.’

Angus Reid, landlord of the Chairmakers Arms on Apless Lane, Hambledon, said they had spent £30,000 getting the pub ready to reopen - with further expense caused by a car crashing into the pub in February.

‘We’ve spent an absolute fortune covering the outside area for people to stop them getting wet,’ he said.

‘We are getting our staff back off furlough next week - no-one has left. Everyone is very bored and now looking forward to getting back to normal.

‘We have everything in place from last time regarding safety measures.’

Angus believes the rules are still ‘very confusing for everyone’ regarding the rule of six and/or two households being able to mix.

‘I don’t think the policing should be down to us,’ he said. ‘It should be down to the people who come here to follow the rules.

‘If we have to take details manually when people arrive that will be complex and could lead to large queues of people.

‘I still don’t understand why people have to scan in at a pub and not other places like shops or hospitals.

‘But overall we’re positive it will be all good, though I’m sure there will be the odd one trying to book two tables.’

Greene King pubs with outdoor spaces that will be reopening include The Baffins in Portsmouth, the Cocked Hat in Gosport, the Cuckoo Pint in Fareham, the Heron in Havant, the Seagull in Fareham, the Spice Island and the Thatched House, both in Portsmouth.

Greene King chief executive Nick Mackenzie said: ‘It’s great that we can finally open outdoor areas in some of our pubs after such a long period of lockdown and we can’t wait to start welcoming our customers back, safely.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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