The Dove pub in west London could only squeeze four people inside — and that was before coronavirus. The coziness that was once a blessing for the smallest public bar in Britain is now a curse.
With the government requiring that customers stay two metres apart when England’s pubs reopen on July 4, the doors of The Dove, which is owned by Fuller’s, one of the biggest operators, will remain firmly closed.
But tens of thousands of other pubs will embark on a balancing act laced with danger: how to get enough customers through the door, keep them safely apart and, at the same time, serve them alcohol.
Chris Tofalli, landlord of Ye Olde Fighting Cocks pub in St Albans, a 30-minute train journey north of London, is not optimistic.
“The only way it would happen is if I employ 20 staff on every single point to watch everyone,” he