We hate to be the harbingers of depressing news but as we have always said we deal in reality. Stark reality.
Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser to the Government yesterday (08/12/2020) confirmed that despite the wonderful news that the nation-wide vaccination programme was now underway, “that face masks may well have to be worn for at least another year.” “Restrictions” will be in place for the foreseeable future “and a long time to come”. Well we said as long ago as March this year that the effects of Covid-19 would linger, in our humble estimation for up to three years. Our caution was rubbished roundly by both POBs and their ‘expert’ advisors. No, they said it will all blow through in no more than six months. We always held out for what we believed in and reflected the reality of the feeling in the trade. Unfortunately for the trade a ‘we told you so’ moment.
So what does this mean in for the future ?
We have to sadly assume that all of the current health and safety regulations regarding the indoor use of places of entertainment will have to be upheld with no vertical drinking, social distancing, the rule of six, staff wearing face masks and drinks only seated at tables and (we hope not) drink only with a substantial meal - whatever that means. The pub scene will go through what can only be described as brain sanitisation. People will get accustomed to the continuing status quo. The health and safety regulations will be accepted as normal and the dear old warm and friendly atmosphere for which the British pub is world famous will shrivel on the vine.
That warm and friendly atmosphere as is now being slowly forgotten thrived on vertical drinking, standing at the bar, being free to move amongst friends also standing up . In other words social mixing. You could talk to the bar staff, open conversations with strangers. A genuine social cross over that cannot be replicated sitting down at a table. We really do fear for the health and continuing viability of the very many wet led pubs across our nation. Many are currently shut being in tiers two and three and may not consider that reopening as a viable proposition. All very depressing but which must be brought kicking and screaming into the mindset of the POBs. So far they are in the main still in denial. This cannot and must not continue.