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Re-opening pubs on a Saturday? ‘It will be like the opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan’

Pub owner says he is staying shut

03 July, 2020 — By Helen Chapman

The Red Lion and Sun will not be re-opening yet

A LANDLORD has warned tomorrow’s (Saturday’s) re-opening of pubs could cause carnage.

Heath Ball, who runs the Red Lion and Sun in Highgate village, told the New Journal that his bar would stay shut despite a green light from government to allow customers back inside.

“To open on a Saturday for the first time in three months is a bad idea,” he said. “It just would be like the opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan. I just want to hang back and see how it goes first. The last thing I would want is: to open and then see an outbreak at the premises and have to shut down. There’s a lot of money that goes into opening the premises up then having to close down again. I don’t want to be first to the party.”

He added: “My customers understand – most people are coming for takeaways and while they would love to come back to the pub, they understand. It is not just the customers to worry about but the staff I would worry about as well. There’s no hurry, is there?”


Government guidance is in place for pubs who want to reopen – including taking the details of customers who come in to help the government’s track and trace system.

But Mr Ball said: “Say a member of my staff get it [Covid-19]. We would have to tell every customer that came in. There’s also the track and trace system – the government can’t do it so hey, why not pass on the pubs to do it? We know that when people have drinks they don’t have common sense. I get it, we need money in tills. But I think the guidance is a bit of a joke really. The main concern is safety. What idiot thought it was a good idea to open a pub on a Saturday? It’s going to be carnage out there.”

The New Journal rang around pubs in the area this week to see whether they were re-opening and a guide to what measures each bar is taking can be found in this week’s issue. 

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