Sheffield beer expert fears FOURTH lockdown as drinkers ‘ignore social distancing’ at pub

A Sheffield beer expert has urged people to behave responsibly in pubs this summer after he witnessed drinkers ignoring social distancing rules at one venue on Monday.

By Dan Hayes
Friday, 16th April 2021, 11:59 am

The man, who works in marketing in the brewing industry, said he didn't want to name the pub in question, but did want to highlight the behaviour so it didn’t become the norm.

He said that while he was as keen to get back to the pub as anyone, he warned that unless people controlled their behaviour, another lockdown was almost inevitable.

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Members of the public enjoy their first drink in a beer garden (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

And he worried that very visible images of people ignoring the rules on TV and in the media could give people a false impression of how seriously the hospitality industry was taking the crisis, hurting an already struggling industry still further.

He said: “I was out for a run and the pub car park I saw was heaving. Lots of people were stood up and there was a significant lack of social distancing.

“This was only 4pm on a Monday afternoon – but I was surprised to see so many people out.”

He said he understood why people were so keen to get back to pubs, but urged drinkers to be sensible a while longer.

“I understand people have been rasping for a pint and are desperate for more social contact,” he said.

“And I know it’s only a minority – but people need to be more mindful of the rules and other people.”

And he added he wanted to make clear he wasn't blaming pub owners or staff, who he said have had enough on their plate over the last year without controlling unruly customers as well.

“The last year has been traumatic for everyone involved in the hospitality trade - bar staff can’t be expected to be Covid police as well,” he said.

“People need to remember they are going to the pub in the midst of a pandemic and control their own behaviour.”

From yesterday, pubs in England were able to open for outdoor service for the first time in six months.

In five weeks time, on May 17, they will be able to open for indoor service - while all Covid restrictions are due to be lifted by June 21.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.