Good morning, it's Paul here.

This is initially a placeholder article, for subscribers to leave your early comments on anything interesting on the RNS. I'll write up the main article throughout the morning, section by section.

Estimated timing - I'm aiming to finish before 3pm today.
Update at 14:45 - today's report is now finished.


Pubs re-opening

I ventured out into Bournemouth on Super Saturday , expecting to witness chaotic scenes of drunken Brits defying social distancing, and being rowdy. However, it was all rather calm & civilised from about 6-9pm when I was out & about.

Starting off in Holdenhurst Road (near the station), which is usually busy at that time, only 1 cafe was open - Sprinkles Gelato, a large, new ice cream parlour. It was almost empty. None of the other restaurants, or independent bars had opened. A reminder that whilst there are no business rates, and staff can be paid on furlough, the financial incentive is to remain closed, having a call option on whether to re-open at all. Hence the general approach by independents, seems to be wait & see, before deciding whether to struggle to re-open, or throw in the towel & hand back the keys to the landlord.

One pub was open, The Christopher Creek, which is a popular Wetherspoons. On arrival, I was greeted by a friendly staff member, who invited me to use the hand sanitiser, then explained that all service is now at table. So find a table, then order the drinks & food via the Wetherspoons app, which also takes payment by card through the app It worked great, and I sat outside, enjoying a couple of pints & a panini with chips, all good quality & cheap. Not having to rub shoulders with smelly people, which is an issue with some Wetherspoons, was a pleasing improvement.

Inside the pub, they had installed clear plastic screens between the tables, and I'm pretty sure there were fewer tables than before. It wasn't that busy. I talked to the security lady, and commented that it didn't seem very busy. Oh we've only just opened, there was a gas leak on the boiler, so that had to be fixed before we could re-open. A reminder that a lot of re-opening pubs are likely to have maintenance issues due to being closed for a while. The bar…

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