Smiles better

The Bloomsbury Tavern in Holborn, London

Saturday proved to be one of, if not, the biggest and most important moments in the UK’s lockdown reopening measures. It is not just a major turning point in returning to normal post-lockdown, as pubs, restaurants, cafes, hotels etc in England are back in business, it is the change in mood it generates.

Business is the key word in all of this. There is little disguise about the economic interests of business being the dominant factor in the decision making. More than 100 days after the UK shut up shop and went into lockdown, pubs around the country are dusting off the taps and wiping down the bars.

It is true, and welcome, that the numbers of those dying, hospitalised or infected have fallen since the peak (though daily reported death tolls are still in three figures). Everyone will have a view whether they believe the lockdown has worked. But coronavirus has not been suppressed.

What the move to reopen represents is to give people a place to reconnect with old mates, a way to ease boredom, and a refuge from the hassles of life.

The likelihood is there will be a measured return to pub life. Openings are under stringent conditions, rules that some say takes all the fun out of the traditional pub experience.  There will be no standing or sitting at the bar or wandering into the pub on a whim.

I hope all the pubs make it through this difficult time and we, as customers, should be understanding and cooperative of the new rules they are operating under to support them.

See you in the beer garden.

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