British Pubs Could Introduce German-Style Steins To Help With Social Distancing
With pubs across the country planning to reopen at the end of the month, Brits are no doubt wondering how social distancing will be maintained in our fave boozers - all the while planning our first ice cold beverage.
Well now, industry leaders have given some outline of what pub-life amid corona could look like - and fans of Oktoberfest might be happy about it.
Taking cues from Germany, the UK could introduce Bavarian-style bierkellers.
Instead of the small, cosy affairs we're used to, the large-scale beer tents have been suggested as a possible blueprint for the future of British pubs in a Covid-19 age.
Under the plans, bar stools could be replaced with trestle tables and benches. What's more, pint glasses could be scrapped in favour of two-pint steins in order to cut down on contact between punters and bar staff.
While we're missing pubs in all their forms, queuing for the bar was always a major pain in the a**e, so we can totally get down with two-pint glasses. We wonder if they'll introduce a wine glass equivalent?
The proposals have already received the backing of the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) and The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra).
Emma McClarkin, BBPA Chief Executive, said: "We are closely monitoring what other countries are doing with the opening of their bars and if there is anything we can introduce.
"The German-style may work for some of our pubs. The main thing we are focusing on is social distancing. The two metre distancing is the biggest challenge pubs will face.
"I think our pubs will obviously have more tables in their bars to allow more table service and less standing at the bar. There'll be less interaction between customers and between customers and staff."
While German-style pubs are a possible outlook for the future, the government is hoping to reopen the hospitality industry by 3rd July, so establishments are having to work fast to see how - and if - they can open safely.
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Drinkers have been warned to expect them to resemble "zoos" with one-way systems and less standing areas.
"We are focusing on how that might work. It might be single file or there could be arrows in one direction to follow on the floor to limit constant crossing of people," added Emma.
"No one pub is the same. Lots have nooks and crannies. Some have next to no space to go around the bar. We are trying to find something that works for customers and staff."
She adds: "It will be our own British way of doing it. All the countries on the continent are going to be waiter-service only to maintain social distancing and table service by staff is going to be the way forward for some time.
"I think there is going to be a new normal and we have to find what that normal is going to be."
It's thought pubs like Wetherspoons will find it easier to open due to their large layouts, where's as smaller pubs will find it more difficult.
The news comes as an estimated 40 per cent of ups will be closing their doors for good as a result of the pandemic. On 20th March, Boris Johnson ordered all pubs to close to tackle to pandemic, which has had a devastating impact on many businesses.
CAMRA's National Chairman Nik Antona said: "The forced lockdown of the nation's pubs could have a devastating impact on the industry, with estimates that up to 40 per cent of the nation's pubs will close their doors for good.
"It's therefore imperative that pubs can open as soon as it is safe to do so, and all ideas to bring this about are welcome.
"Having an open space where you can mingle at the bar and order drinks is an essential part of the pub-going experience as it gives visitors a chance to make friends and socialise in a common area that they don't find in cafes or restaurants.
"I'd be very concerned if this intrinsic pub characteristic is removed and rationing introduced in the name of safety and it then becomes the norm in the months and years to come, forever changing the heart of our pubs."
Hear, hear to that. Now, what's your first drink going to be?
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