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Shepherd Neame CEO releases 19 July statement

Brewery and pub group, Shepherd Neame’s Chief Executive. Jonathan Neame (pictured) has today published the following statement:

'After the extraordinary challenges of the last 15 months, the majority of remaining Covid restrictions will finally be lifted today. We welcome this important next step in what we hope will be a gradual return to normality.

We are pleased to finally be able to reopen all pubs in our estate, and offer a warm welcome to all customers, whatever the size of their group, and however many households included!

But while restrictions have been lifted, and the country’s recovery can hopefully now get under way, we still have a long road ahead. Our priority remains to protect our team members and reassure customers they are safe in our pubs.

'Across our managed estate, we will therefore initially keep the majority of safety measures in place, as follows:

• While bar service will be reintroduced in some sites, table service will remain available in most, complemented by our new online Order & Pay app
• We will retain till screens and physical screens introduced between seating
• We will continue to support NHS Test and Trace by displaying the official NHS QR code posters so customers can ‘check in’ if they wish to do so using the NHS COVID-19 app
In line with Government guidance, we recommend that team members and customers wear masks in our pubs, but it will be left to the individual’s choice.
• We will continue monitoring air quality to ensure all pubs remain well ventilated
• All pubs will continue their increased cleaning regime
• Hand sanitiser stations will remain in place.

'We acknowledge that some customers may still be apprehensive about going out and we will do our best to accommodate their individual needs.

'Our licensees will also be taking every care to ensure the safety of their team members and customers in accordance with the latest Government guidelines.'

Neame signed off, 'We have been greatly heartened by your incredible loyalty since the crisis began, and appreciate your continued support in demonstrating patience towards our staff and tolerance towards fellow customers as we move forward. I hope to see you at one of our pubs very soon.'