The landlord of Whelan’s pub in Surrey Quays has hit out at the government for only allowing pubs to reopen outdoor areas on April 12 as part of the gradual move to remove Covid-19 rules, writes Kit Heren…
Ciaran Canavan, who runs the pub on Rotherhithe Old Road, has a garden with room for about 60 people, which he plans to open in April if coronavirus restrictions allow.
But he said he did not understand the difference between sitting inside with doors and windows open to let air come through – which will not be allowed until May under the current timeline – and sitting outdoors.
“A lot of my customers here are elderly – they come here to sit inside for the comfort. Sitting outside is not what they want,” he told the News.
“It’s alright sitting outside in the garden when there’s not a gale going through. What are you supposed to do if it starts raining – give all the customers a refund and send them all home?”
Canavan added that he thought the new rules are also undermined by the fact people are allowed to come inside to use the toilets.
Scientists generally think that people are more likely to spread Covid-19 indoors than outdoors.
The Whelan’s landlord said was forced to close another bar last year, Canavan’s Pool Club on Peckham’s Rye Lane, because of coronavirus restrictions, local road closures and changes to bus routes.
Canavan has lost around £35,000-£40,000 worth of beer during lockdown, as well as bar snacks that went off, he said. But he remains determined to keep going as long as he can.
“We’re going to keep going as long as we can to serve our customers,” he said.