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Oakman Inns CEO to submit post-lockdown pub prototype to government

The 28-strong pub group, Oakman Inns has created a pub prototype showing how pubs could work post-lockdown.

The new-look layout at the Betsey Wynne pub in Swanbourne, Buckinghamshire, has tables separated by glazed screens.

Customers will have disposable menus and will place their order using a phone app. They will also be reminded to keep their hands clean with gel dispensers throughout the premises. Additionally, there will be one-way system with a separate entrance and exit.

The Betsey Wynne, which previously seated 204 customers, will only be able to offer 146 seats due the reconfiguration, which enables social distancing.

Founder and chief executive, Peter Borg-Neal told Sky News he hopes the measures could be used as a blueprint for when bars and restaurants are given the green light to reopen as restrictions are relaxed. This would be 4 July at the earliest.

Borg-Neal told Sky News, 'There's two key priorities. Number one to protect employees and number two to protect customers. We have studied all the advice from the government and we have worked really hard to comply with it.'

However, given the current guidance, he believed it could only work in big pubs with large beer gardens.

Borg-Neal is now to submit the scheme for approval to the Cabinet Office through the trade body UKHospitality.

In a message to the government, Borg-Neal said, 'We have to meet standards for food hygiene, health and safety and fire. Just tell us to meet the COVID standards and leave it to us. As far as we are concerned we have a number of pubs that can be safely opened now.

'I think the general mood I am getting is people want to come back. People can't make sense of why you can't sit in a pub garden with a beer but you can go on the London Underground. It doesn't seem to make a blind bit of sense.'