Lancaster pub owner glad to be eased into reopening

Image of the White Cross Pub in August 2020 for pubs reopening across the uk
The White Cross Pub in Lancaster, August 2020

A Lancaster pub owner says he is happy to be eased into reopening after five and a half months of closure because of government restrictions implemented to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

There are still restrictions in place including table service only, mask wearing unless eating or drinking and social distancing of tables.

As well as beer gardens, non-essential retail, gyms and leisure centers, outdoor theme parks and personal care facilities like hairdressers are all permitted to reopen today.

Tim Tomlinson, who owns three pubs in Lancaster said: “It has been two or three weeks in the making, the last week has been the most hectic.”

Mr. Tomlinson owns The White Cross, Merchants 1688 and Stonewell Tap in Lancaster and he is also the Chairperson of Lancaster Pub Watch.

Stonewell Tap is unable to reopen because it doesn’t have an outside area.

Following Boris Johnsons road map out of lockdown, pubs aren’t planned to reopen until the 17th of May.

When asked about the Government’s decision to only open outside hospitality, Mr. Tomlinson said, “I’ve got to be honest, at first I was a bit dubious and thought it was silly but actually I think it makes life easier. It eases us in.”

He continued: “I’d rather be busy and more open but if the alternative was, we don’t open till May, I’ll take being partially open.”

“There isn’t going to be a load of money made because the weather can change. If it started raining people will go home after their first pint or not even come out and we will lose a lot of money but if we have the opportunity to open, we will.”

The company are fully booked this week but have kept some tables available for people to be able to walk in and sit down.

Tim Tomlinson said: “Everyone’s nervous and there will be hiccups. Just to ask for everyone to be patient because we are all trying our best. If it doesn’t work perfectly the first few days, we’ll improve.”