The Powers that Be are sounding the death knell for the rural pub.
No sitting at the bar?
Only one table per ten square meters?
Only one person in the jax at a time?
Perspex screens on the counter?
The pub is what its name stems from – a public room. It is a place to buy alcohol of course but for so many people it’s a place of connection. It’s a place where, if you live alone, you can go there and meet friends for a convivial chat about the match, or politics, or whatever takes a fancy. If you don’t meet a friend you can still sit at the bar and enjoy the presence of others around you. For so many, it is a refuge from loneliness and something to look forward to at the end of the day.
The rot started with the smoking ban. That crippled a load of pubs and forced them out of business. Then the laws were changed so that even a pint could lose you your licence. Now thy want to punish them further by heavily restricting the number of customers, and creating an atmosphere that is anything but social.
Who the fuck wants to order a pint through a perspex screen? Who wants a place where you can’t even chat to the barman? Are they going to have red and green lights over the jax door to tell you when it’s “safe” to enter?
How many pubs will never reopen? How many will experience lonliness and isolation?
This is going to have so many unintended consequences.