PUBS, bars and restaurants were given the all clear to reopen last weekend, following three months of closure.

Venues have been permitted to open so long as they follow the correct safety procedures in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

These measures include limited capacity, table service only, details being taken on arrival and correct social distancing throughout venues.

Despite worries that once inebriated, members of the public would fail to comply with social distancing measures, pubs in the Bridport area say they had no issues with their patrons.

Robin Collyns, tenant at Pilot Boat in Lyme Regis, said: “We had no problems at all with the customers, they all appreciated what we were trying to do.

“The staff and customers all felt safe and the measures we've invested in worked well.

“We’ve been very strict with two-metre distancing which has reduced our capacity by around 55 percent and that was reflected in the sales.

“It's good to be back but going forward it is going to be a hard season, in terms of generating funds to get us through the winter. Lyme Regis is probably only at about a third of capacity in terms of holidaymakers but hopefully it will increase over the next couple of weeks.”

John Baker, landlord of Ropemakers in Bridport, said: “We opened at the weekend and it went very well.

“A lot of people were nervous about coming out after the Durdle Door and Bournemouth beach situations, but people behaved themselves really well.

“It was quieter than usual but with all the new systems we've put into place it gave us an opportunity to test out the procedures without being overwhelmed.

“I think it'll take a month or so before we get close to any sort of normality.”

Jo Kane, a member of the bar team at the Greyhound in Beaminster, said: “It was pretty quiet over the weekend, I think people are still a little bit wary.

“Saturday was good but we usually have more elderly customers on a Sunday so that was a bit quieter.

“We've only got 12 tables in the pub so it was easy enough to follow the new measures.”

Steve Attrill, owner of Hive Beach Cafe, The Club House and The Watch House, said the day 'went off with a bang'.

"We were overwhelmed by the amount of people that chose to visit our sites for their first outing since lockdown," he said.

"Plus the public's positivity and kind messages have really boosted team spirit."


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