Drinkers across Oxfordshire are looking forward to returning to their favourite pubs as lockdown is eased.

Pubs and restaurants are being allowed to reopen on July 4 after facing three months with little income due to coronavirus restrictions imposed in March.

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While many drinkers are keen to get back to their locals, they could find it's not as simple as before to buy a pint.

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There will be social distancing measures in place and drinkers could be asked to register their details so they could be contacted in the future if necessary to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Oxford Mail:

The Prime Minister said earlier this week: "All hospitality indoors will be limited to table service, and our guidance will encourage minimal staff and customer contact.

"We will ask businesses to help the NHS Test and Trace respond to any local outbreak by collecting contact details from customers as happens in other countries, and we will work with the sector to make this manageable."

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The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has welcomed announcement that all pubs which can put social distancing in place can reopen on July 4, when previous indications were that only pubs with gardens or patios could reopen.

But it is concerned about the extra burden on landlords and staff to ensure that customers follow the new rules on personal safety, especially the requirement to record customer details to help trace and test them in any further outbreaks of Covid-19.

Chief Executive Tom Stainer said: “This seems to be above and beyond what is being asked of other types of businesses. The Government needs to make sure that this doesn’t disadvantage pubs and that the privacy of pub goers is properly protected.

Oxford Mail:

“Not being able to go to our local has made us realise just how important pubs are to communities, and in tackling loneliness and social isolation.”

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He called for ongoing financial support to ensure that all pubs – both those operating at reduced trade and those that cannot open safely under social distancing – can survive the next few weeks, and get back on their feet.

Oxford Mail:

Oxford CAMRA spokesman Dave Richardson added that it could be difficult for pub staff to police the new rules on social distancing, with the two-metre rule being reduced to one metre plus, and that he had particular concerns about small pubs.