Despite a safe and successful opening last weekend, we are constantly reviewing how we can minimise risk to both staff and customers under the current social distancing rules.

Following a team debriefing, staff felt that the table service Webapp, whilst not without teething problems, was still much safer than customers queueing and ordering at the bar. We have fed back to the app designers and updates that will improve its usability are imminent.

A small number of customers have approached the bar areas to order drinks. Whilst it is not against government rules to do so, we have chosen to temporarily ban this practice for the safety of all. It is, however, against the rules to stand up and consume drinks anywhere inside the pub. We agreed that, in the first instance, we will guide customers to find a table and order either via the app or asking bar staff to take a manual order for them. Drinks will then be delivered to the table. If this is unsuccessful, the alternatives are to either fully screen off the bar area or temporarily close the two rooms where the bar is accessible to the public. This would be a last resort as it affects everybody, so we ask you all to respect the rules and be responsible. They are there for your safety. The staff have also been told not to serve anyone who does not follow their requests.

We are aware that more people need to log their contact details for the NHS test and trace system. Whilst this is voluntary, it is there for your safety, and could save a life. Customers should register via the WebApp (regulars only have to do this once), or staff are happy to record your contact details in our manual log. All data is stored securely and destroyed after 21 days of your visit.

We still very much want to socialise with customers as we are a community pub and we love to see you all. However, to ensure everyone’s safety, we recognise the need to keep contact with customers as limited as possible, both in terms of time and space. Where possible we will engage and help you from a distance or, where this is not possible, keep the engagement to a minimum. Please don’t be offended if we curtail any conversation where we need to stand within close proximity to you.

Finally, we very much welcome your feedback too. How do you think we can improve your safety when you visit?

We hope you welcome our openness as, with true and honest transparency, we hope to retain your trust. We have received very positive feedback around safety and comfort, but we certainly don’t take anything for granted. Thank you for your patience.

Vanessa and The Red Lion Team.