SALISBURY business leaders are urging people to pre-book before visiting pubs this weekend as the few city centre venues that are reopening are “already fully booked”.
Whilst Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that pubs and restaurants could reopen from Saturday, not all establishments are ready to do so and some have chosen to delay their reopening until they are fully prepared.
Amanda Newbery, Interim Hospitality Representative on the Salisbury BID Board and Vice Chair of Salisbury PubWatch said: “It seems very strange not to be promoting our hospitality businesses, but we’re asking people to check whether you need to book a table at the pub before turning up during these early days while we get used to these new strict guidelines.
“We look forward to the sector reopening, but people need to realise they won’t just be able to turn up at the pub and expect things to be normal.
“These establishments have had to implement lots of social distancing measures to keep customers and staff safe, and the guidelines state businesses should use a booking system in order to safely manage their customers.
“Only a few city centre pubs are reopening on Saturday, and as far as we’re aware these are already fully booked. We really want to avoid the city centre being full of people gathering on the streets because they can’t get into the pub.
“We are of course encouraging everyone to support our city centre businesses; we are very grateful of the support. Shops and cafes welcome visitors, but we’re urging people to pre-book a table at pubs and restaurants before travelling into the city to avoid any disappointment.”
The public are urged to act responsibly and reminded anti-social behaviour “will not be tolerated”. CCTV in the city centre remains operational.
The Leader of Salisbury City Council, Cllr Jeremy Nettle, said: “I look forward to seeing residents safely enjoy our solely missed pubs and restaurants, but I encourage everyone to be responsible and remember that we must continue to follow social distancing rules to ensure the virus is not spread.”