Caution urged as freedom beckons

By Ed Bedington

- Last updated on GMT

How should pubs react to freedom day?

Related tags coronavirus Legislation Pub

And so “Freedom Day” is upon us, and with it go the shackles of the last 18 months or more.

But, to misquote Spider Man, with great freedom, comes great responsibility and I’d urge all of you to approach the new situation with as much caution as you can manage.

Yes, I’m sure that will probably not be a popular thing to say, but let’s be honest about this - where has the finger of blame been pointed up to this point? And should the wheels come off and the situation spiral out of control, guess where that finger is going to be pointed this time as well.

I’ve already seen videos of 12.01am this morning (19th July) pop up on my various feeds, of people standing on tables, singing and hugging, and while I get the sense of relief and the spontaneous need for people to express that relief, it does nothing to further our cause or claims to be a responsible and respectful industry that has a handle on things.

Every business needs to take the decisions it needs to take in the current circumstances that is right for it, and if that means a return to full normality, that’s great, but please, do it sensibly and not provide further ammunition to those that wish to see our great sector shut down and turned into some kind of government controlled experiment to limit our food and drink in-take to the public health lobby prescribed minimums.

Sensible approach needed

We need to slowly readjust to normality, and if that means masks for some, fine. If that means keeping table service, then that’s fine too - do what’s right for your customers, your staff and your business.

But do it well, and do it carefully and let’s not pour fuel onto the already smouldering bonfire.

Our political leaders will be only too quick to look for a scapegoat to avoid their own incompetent culpability in this ongoing fiasco - let’s not hand them one on a plate.

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