Since our previous post it is has taken less than a week for the Government to impose yet more restrictions on the way pubs can operate due to the coronavirus epidemic. London has now been moved into a "High Risk" category which means you can no longer mix with anyone indoors other than your own household and "indoors" in this case also means in pubs and restaurants. Going to a pub with friends for a drink is one of the pleasures of life and we're going to miss it for however long this situation lasts. The whole purpose of a pub is for people to meet and enjoy each other's company so these latest restrictions will hit the hospitality industry even harder than it has been already.
Local workers and tourists make up the majority of customers for the Sir Sydney Smith. Sadly, tourists have disappeared this year and with people being encouraged to work from home where they can, we had also lost much of this custom too. Now, with these latest restrictions, what people there are still commuting into London and working locally are no longer able to socialise together. We are sure it makes sense to somebody - but to us, if you can spend your day in an office working next to a colleague it makes no sense why you cannot enjoy a pint with them in a pub on your way home. Like all pubs we have taken many new precautions to ensure the safety of customers: It is why we have spaced out our tables to keep groups apart, why we request you remain seated during your visit to help with social distancing, why we provide hand sanitiser and conduct regular cleaning, why we wear masks and provide table service and also why we use disposable menus and single use condiments to help avoid cross contamination. All to no avail it would seem as the Government has decided the majority of our customers should now no longer be allowed to visit.
There is no financial support being provided to pubs in areas deemed High Risk such as London despite this almost unworkable limitation on what customers we can serve. The property owners still demand from us their substantial rent, even though we are barely able to trade, staff wages still need to be paid and of course utility companies still want payment for providing gas, electricity and water and we use a lot of those! Sadly many thousands of pubs nationwide will not be able to survive these latest restrictions. So if you are able to visit a pub (only with a member of your own household of course!) whether it is the Sir Sydney Smith or any other one, then please do as often as you can, even if it's only for a quick gin and tonic. We all need and appreciate your custom. Thank you.