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Sitting room only - 20 ways a night out in the pub could change

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A bartender in Cologne wears a face shield while serving beer

A bartender in Cologne wears a face shield while serving beer

REUTERS

A bartender in Cologne wears a face shield while serving beer

Smoking areas could be scrapped in some pubs and there could be a traffic-light system at toilets to let people know when they are free.

These are just one some of the radical measures that bars could potentially implement, amid strict guidelines on social distancing.

  • Food could become more of a focus than drink as publicans weigh up the risk of alcohol and social distancing.
  • Perspex or protective screens/barriers dividing pub-goers from each other and from staff. Some bars are working on making these design-friendly.
  • A return of pub snugs or "confession boxes" to allow social distancing.
  • The days of standing at the bar are gone. It's table service and remaining seated during your night out.

Ejecting

  • People will be restricted from socialising with groups they haven't entered pubs with and this rule will likely be enforced with security staff ejecting anyone who doesn't abide by them.
  • Some pubs will scrap smoking areas as they won't allow sufficient space, while others will have sufficient room but will limit numbers standing outside.
  • Some bars may install a traffic-light system at toilets to let the public know when the lavatory is free - reducing numbers using the toilet at one time.
  • Staff and customers' temperatures will be taken to ensure no one enters pubs with a fever.
  • The death of live music and dancing areas, as social distancing would be an impossibility, some publicans believe.
  • Apps will be rolled out for customers to book tables, as a measure to control numbers entering the pub.
  • Pub doors will be managed to ensure limited numbers enter. Maitre d's will show people to tables.
  • Waiting staff will wear PPE and one waiter will take orders while another clears plates.
  • Food orders to be made on apps and paid for via contactless payments.
  • Tables will be sanitised after every customer. Menus will be disposable or cleaned regularly.
  • Some pubs will restrict table seating times to around 90 minutes to allow others to book a table on an app.
  • Some pubs may introduce take-out areas to extend people's nights out.
  • Hands-free door handles will be introduced to help customers avoid touching the same surfaces.
  • A maximum of six people to a table will be enforced.
  • Customers will use hand sanitiser before entry and high-grade sanitiser will be introduced for staff to avoid damage to hands with regular usage.
  • The pub will become a place where families and close friends enjoy leisure time, especially around food. The days of meeting strangers and having the craic will be gone as drinkers get used to the new normal in bars and on their night lives.

It may spell the end of the traditional night out, certainly a new chapter.

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The days of standing at the bar are gone

The days of standing at the bar are gone

REUTERS

The days of standing at the bar are gone