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Increased police presence as Bucks' pubs re-open

Landlords & ladies are looking forward to welcoming back customers after several months.

Published by Dan Gooding at 8:00am 4th July 2020. (Updated at 9:21am 4th July 2020) 4-minute read.

Increased police presence as Bucks' pubs re-open

We'll see more police around Buckinghamshire today, helping to maintain social distancing as pubs re-open.

TVP are asking us to play our part in staying safe, despite the excitement of being able to head to a bar.

One of those re-opening today is the King's Head in Aylesbury.

Landlord George Jenkinson says they are ready for customers - but not everyone will want to go just yet:

"Our regulars are falling into two camps.

"One can't wait to come back, really looking forward to it, they have missed it, they have been at home and not had a chance to meet other people.

"Others feel that it's not [time], it's not right for them and they want to wait a little bit.

"So we look forward to seeing them again, hopefully it won't be too long."

MP praises Aylesbury's hospitality sector

Keeping going during lockdown

King's Head 3
The King's Head opened a foodhall just after lockdown

The pub, which is in the centre of town, has managed to keep going in some capacity whilst others have been completely shut.

Part of the National trust property was turned into a foodhall just after lockdown, supporting local producers.

George told us it's surpassed their expectations:

Customers have told George that the scrum in supermarkets has put them off and so finding local suppliers has become more important.

The hope is that this will be a permanent fixture of the town centre now.

More good news is that no staff have been let go:

"I can't tell you how happy I am.

"We put a small number of staff on furlough and they are all coming back and, having spoken to everyone recently and over the three months, it's going to be fantastic to have everyone back.

"We have two today, who are just excited to be back and doing something."

Keeping customers safe

King's Head 1
A previously-unused area in the stables will be used with dividers between tables

Measures have been put in place to keep patrons safe, including a one way system, spaced out tables and a booking system.

All pubs are expected to do similar things, to manage numbers are customers return.

Thames Valley Police say they have an operation in place to manage crowds.

Head of Local Policing Chief Superintendent Christian Bunt, said:

“After over three months of social restrictions, we understand that people will want to go out and enjoy themselves when lockdown restrictions ease further on Saturday (4/2).

“As these restrictions are lifted however, the public have an even greater responsibility to adhere to the government guidance around social distancing and hygiene and play their part in stopping the spread of Coronavirus. Covid-19 still presents a significant threat to public health, as highlighted by the local lockdown seen in Leicester this week, and we must all continue to respect the measures in place to protect lives.

“As with any expected busy weekend, Thames Valley Police has a comprehensive plan in place with officers visible in our cities and town centres, as well as extra resources and officers available to respond to any disorder or criminality, wherever they are needed. And whilst we have no powers to enforce social distancing, restrictions around gatherings are still in place and we will break up illegal events and take action against those who organise them.

“We are also working with local authorities and licensees to support their plans to manage the number of people out and about. In some areas entry to a bar or restaurant will only be possible if you pre-book a table and not all premises are opening, so if you’ve not pre-booked you may not get entry to anywhere and you may wish to consider this when making your plans. Also make sure to pre-plan your travel and how you are going to get home.

 “We would also ask that people are mindful of the potential impact they could have on the emergency services and urge people to drink responsibly.

“We want everyone to have a great time and enjoy themselves but please stay safe and adhere to the public health measures in place to help stop the spread of Coronavirus.”

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