Pubs and cafés open for business in Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield
PUBLISHED: 12:01 11 July 2020
Cafés, pubs and restaurants in WGC and Hatfield are reopening with social distancing guidelines in place to keep customers safe.
Although some businesses in WGC town centre remain closed, including Costa and Waterstones Café, pubs opened at the weekend and coffee shops are now allowing customers to sit inside providing they keep a two-metre distance from others.
Richard, who works at Simmons Bakers in Howardsgate, said: “At the weekend it’s worse and people don’t like being told what to do, and having to wait.People are doing it but it’s hard.”
Caffe Nero, which is also in Howardsgate, has been open for takeaway for a while, but when the pubs reopened on Saturday started allowing customers to sit inside. As with many businesses in the town, markings are on the ground at a two-metre distance, leading out of the shop, to encourage people to stay spaced apart while they queue.
Maria, who works at Caffe Nero, said: “We need to make sure people are following instructions. Sometimes they’re not really thinking that they need to keep their distance. We’ve been trying to move tables and it’s been really easy here. We’re telling them straight away to make sure they keep their two distance from each other.”
One of the pubs which opened at the weekend was the Doctors Tonic in Church Road, which is owned by Greene King and part of the company’s ‘Pub safe’ scheme. Customers are encouraged to book tables in advance and follow social distancing, while a ‘pub safe’ monitor in each pub is in charge of ensuring safety, and making sure tables are cleared after use.
At the Two Willows, customers have to follow a one-way system and sanitise their hands before they enter the pub.
A spokesperson for the Two Willows in Welwyn Garden City said: “We are delighted that we are now open and welcoming our customers back. Our first priority is the safety of our staff and customers, and additional training and safety measures have been put in place.
“Throughout our bar we have implemented clear social distancing measures, enhanced cleaning regimes and provide customers with the opportunity to order food and drink via our new app. Single use menu’s, contactless payments, and hand sanitiser stations compliment the revised layout of our bar.
“It is great to see so many of our customers respecting the new social distancing measures and being mindful of the changes in the way we are now operating. We are encouraged by the overall success of reopening our doors.”
Bebo Café in Hatfield opened on Sunday. Manager Isabella Magneski, who has worked there for three years, said: “It’s so great to be back to normal and I think pretty soon we’ll have the same levels of customers, though we have had to limit our opening hours as lots of customers still do not know we’re open. “Most – eight out of 10 – are using the hand sanitiser, which is good but they don’t seem to follow the one way system. “We’re very excited to be open. I really missed being at my job. I’m so glad to be back and see customers, especially regulars”
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