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Reopening safely - FAQs

UPDATED: Saturday 27 June, 2020

We are looking forward to seeing you again

Thank you for your patience while we have been closed.

Preparations are almost complete for welcoming you back. 

The risks associated with coronavirus have led to some adjustments in how we will operate in future, in order to prioritise your safety while visiting.

Our adjustments follow extensive consultation with employees, at all levels, and incorporate advice from government, health & safety advisers and UK Hospitality (our trade association).

Pub managers have carried out a risk assessment in their own pub, as part of this process. 

Full training has been provided for all staff.

In addition, an initial £11 million has been invested to set up our pubs, enabling them to operate safely.

I hope that the approach which we have taken gives you sufficient confidence when returning to visit us.

We look forward to seeing you soon. 

Best wishes

John Hutson

Chief Executive



When are you reopening your pubs – and will you be opening them all?

Based on the most up-to-date government information, we are working towards reopening dates as follows:

Opening Date

Status

England

Sat 4 July

Confirmed

Scotland

Wed 15 July

Confirmed

Wales

Mon 20 July

Provisional

Northern Ireland

Mon 20 July

Provisional

Republic of Ireland

Mon 20 July

Confirmed


Please note that some of these dates have yet to be confirmed, and are still subject to change. 

Please be aware, for the first few weeks of opening, that some pubs may close earlier than advertised on our website. Check with your local pub for details.

There will be some pubs which will not be reopening immediately. Some airport sites, for example, may not open straight away.

Will you be showing football or sporting events, when you are open again?

No, we have decided not to show football or sporting events during July.

As our pubs reopen, our focus will be on meeting social distancing requirements and keeping our customers and staff safe. For this reason and to avoid crowds congregating, no football or sporting events will be shown on our TVs during July.

We will update this FAQ with new information as we move into August and beyond.

Can I still order at the bar or is it table service only?

Customers are being encouraged to order using the Wetherspoon app, where possible, directly from their table.

Where unable to order from the table (ie they have no smart phone), customers are able to order from one of the designated till points at the bar. However, customers may not remain at the bar, once they have ordered and paid – they should return to their table. .

Do I have to reserve a table, before visiting your pubs?

No. It is not in our plan to require customers to book a table, ahead of visiting.

At busy times, to manage numbers, a designated staff member will be asked to stay at the entrance door.

With capacity restricted, we may be full on Friday and Saturday evenings, but won’t be during Sunday–Thursday... Monday is the new Saturday! .

How will you enforce, or publicise, government advice about meeting people from outside of my household, from 4 July, in England? 

It is our responsibility to make customers aware of guidelines (which we will do through entrance signage), but it is not our responsibility to enforce them. The designated staff member responsible for monitoring social distancing will also monitor groups and gatherings, taking account of any guidelines.

What have you done to prepare for reopening?

Pub-specific risk assessments, including COVID-19 control measures, have been undertaken and agreed on with pub management teams.

Operating procedures have been reviewed and amended, as appropriate, with emphasis on reinforcing frequent and proper hand-washing and social-distancing control measures.

Will you provide PPE for staff?

Non-medical face-coverings, protective eyewear, visors and gloves will be made available, on request. PPE will be required for staff working in kitchens or other areas, on occasion, where there might be confined spaces. This will be determined by each pub’s risk assessments.

Will you provide hand-sanitisers for staff and customers?

Hand-sanitiser stations will be installed in every pub. These will be positioned at the entrance, the bar, outside toilets and at other locations. For most pubs, there will be an average of 10 stations.

How will you keep the pubs clean?

Dedicated employees will be deployed, at all times, to clean and sanitise the pub, including the toilets.

Tables will be cleared and sanitised after use.

Self-service coffee machines and the coffee station will be sanitised regularly.

How will you protect your staff?

Staff will be required to complete a health assessment before starting work on each occasion.

When planning rotas, we will endeavour to have staff working in consistent teams (team bubbles).

The bar will be arranged into dedicated work stations to better enable employees to work within safe distancing guidance. Where possible, only one employee will be assigned to each till. A hand-sanitiser station/hand-washing area will be located behind the bar.

Protective screens will be located at those tills used for customer service. Customers ordering at the bar will be required to do so at a designated till point. The remainder of the bar won’t be accessible.

The area in front of the bar will be marked with floor stickers to help customers to queue at a safe distance.

How will you manage social distancing in your kitchens?

The site-specific kitchen risk assessment details the control measures introduced.

A maximum capacity of kitchen team members, without the necessity for PPE, will be set and displayed prominently for each kitchen. In certain circumstances, mandatory use of face-coverings will be a required control measure, based on kitchen occupancy.

Kitchen doors will be pinned open, wherever possible, to increase air flow and reduce hand contact points.

What measures have you taken to ensure safety for customers?

Furniture will be removed, or rearranged, to facilitate social distancing.

Protective screens will be used to assist with social distancing.

Signage will be attached to tables, asking customers to refrain from moving any furniture.

Hand-sanitiser stations will be located at optimum points.

There will be regular sanitising of contact points during trading hours.

Tables will be clear of all marketing material.

Additional emphasis will be placed on serving drinks by holding the base of the glass.

Will you be serving the full menu?

The timing of breakfast and the full menu will change to minimise movement for our kitchen staff.

Breakfast will be served until 11.30am, followed by the main menu from 11.30am.

Menu content has been reduced slightly to minimise the number of menu items produced from more than one kitchen workstation.

A reduced range of condiments will be provided in sachets.

Will menus be used for multiple customers?

It will be a single-use, recyclable menu.

Will you still offer free tea and coffee refills?

Yes.

Customers will receive a clean cup for every hot drink ordered, including refills. Tea will be served from the bar, including refills.

We have removed self-service water dispensers from the front bar.

Will your pubs use door staff or additional security?

The use of door supervisors will be reviewed.

A body camera will be worn, at all times, by one of the managers on duty.

Every pub will be issued with radios to improve communication.

At busy times, a designated person will be asked to stay on the door to manage numbers.

A designated person will ensure that customers do not move furniture and are not congregating at the bar or in other areas.

Will customers have to queue to enter the pub?

Each pub will have its capacity assessed to ensure that it can operate social distancing safely.

Where possible, external areas will be marked for customers to queue.

Where possible and practicable, one entry point will be in use at all times, with a separate exit point. There will be a hand-sanitiser station at the pub’s entrance(s).

Informational signage will be installed, providing clear guidance and direction for customers as they enter the premises.

Entrance doors will be pinned open to increase air flow and reduce hand contact points.

Will you limit the number of drinks customers can have?

It is not our plan to impose a specific limit on alcoholic drinks consumed, with each customer managed individually.

How will you manage groups of customers?

Through the use of extensive signage, customers will be reminded about social-distancing guidelines.

We are discouraging large groups. If customers do arrive in a large group or attempt to congregate in the pub after arrival, they will be asked to disperse around the pub, if capacity allows, or leave the premises.

Will children be permitted in your pubs?

Yes. Customers will be requested to keep children seated and to supervise them during toilet visits.

Will your toilets be available for customers’ use?

Yes. Signage will be in place on all corridors and staircases leading to toilets, asking customers to ‘please keep left’.

A hand-sanitiser station will be located close to toilets’ entrance/exit doors. Where possible, toilet lobby doors will be propped open.

Signage will be displayed in the toilets reminding customers about hand-washing frequency and technique.

Will your gardens and smoking areas be set up for social distancing?

External areas will be set up with the same social-distancing measures as internally.

To avoid congestion, smoking will not be permitted around any entrance/exit doors.

Where possible, the designated external smoking area will be clearly marked to aid with social distancing.

What payment methods will you accept?

Customers will be encouraged, at all times, to use the Wetherspoon app for ordering and payment.

When paying at the bar, contactless payments will be encouraged, with the limit increased to £45 for cards (Apple/Google Pay £100). This will be promoted at the till point.

Cash will be accepted through a reduced number of tills.

Those customers with Wetherspoon gift cards or CAMRA vouchers which have expired during the lockdown period (or are close to expiring) are advised that these will still be valid.

Current Wetherspoon gift cards will be valid for an additional six months after their original expiry date. CAMRA vouchers with validity dates during 1 April–30 June 2020 will be valid until the end of November – an extra five months to enjoy our ales.

Our hotels 

How will check-in be managed in reception areas?

Queues will be managed to ensure social distancing. Clear signage will direct guests to maintain social-distancing measures and use the entrance’s hand-sanitiser station.

Protective screens will be used on hotel reception desks/counters. Where hotel guests check in at the bar, protective screens will also be in place.

Will guests still be able to use your lifts?

At check-in, guests will be reminded (if relevant) not to mix with other parties when using any lift. Signage will be displayed by the lift, with lift contact points sanitised regularly. Hand-sanitiser stations will be placed on each floor, outside the lift.

Do your hotels accept cash?

Cash is not accepted in Wetherspoon hotels.

What will you do, if a guest is suspected to have COVID-19?

If a guest presents with symptoms of COVID-19 or is asymptomatic, but declares the need to self-isolate, he/she will be advised to check out and return home to self-isolate, in accordance with government guidance.

If the guest shows acute symptoms, has breathing difficulties or where there is potential risk to life, the hotel team will follow government-provided COVID-19 protocols.