• Steve

Our building works continue and the Government confirms pubs can reopen on July 4th

The Government has confirmed that pubs can reopen on July 4th and has given guidance on how that can be done safely.

Sadly, that won't mean all pubs will be reopening; some may have already decided to cease trading and for others the reduced numbers of customers permitted won't make it cost effective to reopen at this stage. Good luck to all that give it a go and we sincerely hope that you will support those that do.

Unfortunately, due to our ongoing flood recovery works we will not be in a position to open in July. When our landlords confirm their builder's plans we might have a better idea, but as yet we cannot commit to a date.

The 43-page Government guidance document "Keeping workers and customers safe during Covid-19 in restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services", sets out how pubs can how to open safely while minimising the risk of spreading COVID-19.

It's not exactly bedtime reading but it covers a number of areas:

  • Risk Assessments - they must be undertaken and published, they will be policed by the health and safety executive or the local authority

  • Keeping customers safe - consider the cumulative impact of many venues reopening in a small area, re-configuring furniture, making customers aware of gathering limits, taking the needs of disabled customers into account and ensuring precautions are taken in the event of adverse weather conditions

  • NHS Test and Trace - keeping a temporary record of customers for 21 days in way "that is manageable for your business" and complying with requests for that data if needed in a bid to help contain clusters or outbreaks

  • Management of food and drink - maintaining social distancing from customers with screens or tables, minimising customer self-service of food, cutlery and condiments and encouraging contactless payments

  • Toilets - signage and social distance markings to manage queues, more frequent cleaning, increased waste disposal facilities and rubbish collection

  • Entertainment - live performances are not permitted and steps are to be taken to avoid people raising their voices due to the potential of an increased risk of transmission

  • Cleaning - reduce touchpoints, doors (that aren’t fire doors) should be wedged open and rigorous cleaning of surfaces and objects between customer use should be undertaken.

  • Personal Protective Equipment - staff to use as per risk assessments


It's going to be a big learning curve for all. Please be patient and supportive to those brave publicans who do open on 4th July. By the time the Dovecote is back up and running the situation, hopefully, will have recovered enough to make it workable for all of us.

As always, we'll keep you posted - stay safe.

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The Dovecote Inn, Alders Road, Capel, Tonbridge, Kent TN12 6SU

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