PUB bosses have revealed they are planning to keep their doors closed on upcoming “Super Saturday” despite finally being allowed to open after three months of lockdown.
Some landlords fear they cannot enforce Covid-19 social distancing rules when partying punters flood in for their first pint since March.
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A staff member from The Practicioner pub cleans and prepare ahead of pubs reopening[/caption]
Protective screens dividing tables at a Wetherspoons pub The Mossy Well in Muswell Hill, London, ahead of Saturday[/caption]
Pubs, bars and restaurants can reopen from July 4 in England and provide indoor service.
New rules will see screens separating tables, bar staff delivering drink orders to customers and orders being made via apps.
Toilets will be open.
The PM has also announced that social distancing will be cut from two metres to one metre from Saturday to give venues the chance to let more people in and be viable.
But leading doctors, police and campaigners urged revellers to drink responsibly to avoid ending up injured and in under pressure hospitals.
Some even fear that emergency departments could see as many drunk patients as New Years Eve.
JD Wetherspoon plans to reopen hundreds of its pubs with a raft of safety measures to keep drinkers apart.
But some publicans on Tyneside have decided to stay closed this weekend because they fear they can maintain safety for staff and punters.
Sunderland bars including Ttonic, Chaplins, The Point, Glitter Ball and Arizona will remain shut.
We are working through the guidelines provided for the hospitality industry and want to make sure that when we open, we are providing the safest possible environment
Pub boss Ian High
Their management team wrote: “We are concerned that the mass gatherings and intensity expected on Saturday isn’t worth putting our team under unnecessary risk and stress.
“Our safety, your safety and to protect the emergency services from unnecessary duress we think is paramount and the responsible thing to do in our much loved city.
“We will not be opening until further notice and remain closed this weekend.
“Please understand our decision for now, we must protect our staff and the people in our City.
“Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause for your weekend plans, we hope everyone stays alert, safe and practices social distancing as outlined by the Government.”
Ian High, operations and finance director of Pub Culture, which runs venues in the North East including the Dun Cow in Sunderland, told the Sunderland Echo: “The health and safety of our staff and customers is our top priority.
“We are working through the guidelines provided for the hospitality industry and want to make sure that when we open, we are providing the safest possible environment.”
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Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said the public will see “a lot” of officers on London streets.
She told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme yesterday: “There will be a lot more ready should people be out of order, should people get violent.
“But I’m not predicting that at this stage.
“My message is, if you’re coming out on Saturday, be calm, be sensible.
“Look after yourself, look after your family. We are still in a global pandemic which is affecting this country very obviously.”
Greater Manchester Police has planned a ‘significant’ operation for cities and towns within the constabulary, while Leeds City Council announced it will provide night marshals to support police, the BBC reports.
While pubs can be open, gyms, nightclubs, nail salons and spas must remain closed for now as they still pose a risk to spread the virus.
The UK’s official coronavirus death toll stands at 43,906 the highest in Europe and the third-highest in the world after the US and Brazil.
But the country’s infection rate has been falling and Britain is gradually easing lockdown restrictions imposed in March.
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