I’m Really Anxious About Reopening Says B&B Owner

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I’m Really Anxious About Reopening Says B&B Owner

This year, 4 July will hold a different kind of celebration as a range of hospitality and similar firms in England may finally be allowed to reopen for business.

But with government guidance still not clear and social distancing rules looking set to change, how prepared are they?

The BBC spoke to a pub, a salon and a B&B to find out how ready they are for the next phase of lockdown easing.

Really anxious

“I’m feeling really anxious about reopening as I just don’t know what’s coming.”

Lindsey Holland runs the Cleeve Hill Hotel, a 12-bedroom B&B in Gloucestershire.

She runs the business on her own and worries that reopening rules may make that impossible.

“I’m going to be really interested to see how much I’m going to be allowed to achieve by myself, when I have to switch from cooking to cleaning, for instance.”

Many B&B staples will disappear, not least the buffet breakfast.

“I’ve heard that breakfasts may have to be delivered to rooms, which isn’t practical for me as a one-person business.

“I also can’t afford to buy room service trays.”

Free magazines and the help-yourself minibar will also have to go.

Lindsey reckons she could open half of the hotel if the social distancing rule was 2m, but up to three quarters if it was 1m.

“If I am allowed to provide breakfast in the dining room, then I’m limited to how many people I can serve under the rules,” she explains.

And if bookings don’t pick up then it may not be worth her while opening the doors at all in July, she warns.

“4 July is just two weeks away and we’re only now getting bits of pieces of details of what the rules may be.

“Even if I do reopen and we have enough bookings, a second wave could mean the end for us.”

New normal

“We’ve spent a lot of time during lockdown getting ready for the new normal.”

Simon Daws has run the Gloucester Old Spot pub in Cheltenham for a decade, but recent times have been his biggest challenge, he says.

https://www.bbc.com

“We’ve been waiting for news of when we can reopen with different dates being bandied around, which hasn’t been helpful.

“We really need more notice than a couple of weeks to get the right beer in and get staff back from furlough, but we want people to come back to the pub.”

He says the pub industry is desperate to reopen for business and cutting the social distance rules to 1m is crucial.

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“If the distance is 1m then pubs with generous garden areas can make a go of it,” he says.

His pub has room for 160 people outside but they’ve had change things to prepare for reopening.

“We don’t need plastic screens as people won’t come into the pub. Instead we’re switching to a continental style of service with our staff taking orders on a handheld device and using disposable menus to reduce the risk to customers,” he says.

I’m Really Anxious About Reopening Says B&B Owner

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