Staying Safe at The Geese and Fountain

Update for July 2021: Open every day, inside and out
July 15 2021

The last 18 months have been very challenging for everyone and we want to thank all of our customers for their support during these strange and difficult times. The whole Geese & Fountain team have been touched by your support and concern for us as individuals as well as for the business during repeated lockdowns and also periods of opening under assorted and ever-changing rules and restrictions. We have been delighted to see so many of you return to us over the last three months, and we hope that trend continues. On July 19th the legal restrictions we have been operating under will come to an end, but we have had many conversations with both customers and staff, and it is clear to us that you want us to continue to keep the pub safe and take precautions to ensure we are not contributing to the spread of Covid-19.

While it is true that the Covid virus is now significantly less dangerous to those of us who have had two vaccinations, there are many who have only had one vaccine or none at all, and there are still people at significant clinical risk. As the restrictions are ending while the spread of the virus goes into its third wave there is a real risk that the vulnerable can get infected via a carer, a child or a friend becoming infected and unknowingly exposing them to it. With that in mind we believe it is everyone’s responsibility to act in a considerate manner for the benefit of those at risk.

We will be using the freedoms we now have to hopefully make things easier and more comfortable for us all, but we will also be retaining many covid safety measures. Here is a snapshot of what we are doing and what we would request of you:

Most importantly, if you know you have been exposed to Covid, or feel unwell and think that you may have the virus, please arrange a test and self-isolate, and don’t come to the pub. If you or a close contact has had a positive COVID-19 result, or if you have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, you must not come to the pub.

Opening hours: Our opening hours will remain as they have been recently. Monday 5pm – 11pm, Tuesday to Saturday midday – 11pm, Sunday midday – 9pm. We hope to be able to re-open in the mornings (including breakfast) soon, but we need to recruit at least one more chef to do so, and much of hospitality is finding recruitment very hard at the moment. We’ve been very lucky to recruit some excellent new staff recently, but we haven’t yet found the chef we need to complete the team. If you know anyone suitable, please put them in touch with us.

Bookings / groups: Please continue to make bookings in advance (online or by telephone to 01476 870350) if you can, as it helps us to ensure we have enough staff to look after you properly. There will be no limits any more on how many people can sit together.

One-way system: There will not be a formal one-way system any more, you may come and go as you please. However, it’s generally worked very well using the door near the car park as our ‘main entrance’ so we would like to encourage everyone to continue to do that. For one thing, it’s level access without any steps and for another the doors have glazed sections so you are much less likely to find yourself opening the door into someone else’s backside!

Hand washing: Hand sanitiser will continue to be available at the entrances, and in the toilets. Please use it. And use good handwashing technique every time you visit the toilets.

Tables / layout: We will make some small changes to the layout on July 19th. The dart board will be available again, and there will be one or two more tables in the main room of the pub. However, we’ve enjoyed having some comfy chairs on the wooden flooring area, and we’re likely to keep them there. The government advise that ventilation is a key defence against the spread of Covid, so we will try to keep doors and windows open whenever the weather permits it.

Checking in: The NHS Test and Trace system is still active, and you are encouraged to use it. The 2D barcodes will remain on display but their use will be optional. Likewise, our ‘welcome’ sheets will continue, and you may sign in if you wish to ensure ‘NHS Test and Trace’ can contact you if it appears you may have been exposed to the virus. However, you are not required by law to check-in at venues after July 19th, it is optional.

Table service: We will continue to offer full table service for all customers if they wish, but customers will also be allowed to order at the bar, and settle their bill at the bar. However, once you’ve been served we ask that you return to your table, as this is a safety precaution for our staff. Bar stools will not be returning yet, as the bar area would become too congested, with our staff needing to approach the bar for orders for their other customers. No drinking at the bar please. If you are outside, and you would like us to take all your orders at your table, please tell us. Otherwise we will assume that you are happy to come inside to order your drinks.

Masks: Masks will mostly be optional, but we do recommend staff and customers continue to wear them when inside and in close proximity to others for any length of time. In particular, we would ask you to wear a mask if approaching the bar, to help protect our staff as much as possible. If customers would prefer our staff to wear a mask while serving their table, we will gladly do so. Please display the sign at the end of your table if you would prefer we wear a mask while serving you.

Toilets: As our B&B facilities return to normal, the ladies toilet will return to the usual place, accessed from the corridor behind the bar. This area is now no longer ‘staff only’ but it should be obvious that the bar area itself remains staff only, and we’d ask you to avoid standing and talking in the corridor, it isn’t wide enough for anyone to get past you.

 

The next few weeks are likely to be very challenging. Every pub will be finding their own way to deal with the situation, so we know that you will be having to deal with different rules everywhere you go. We will try our best to be responsive, understanding and respectful to all our customers. All we ask in retun is that you treat all our staff with the same understanding and respect, remember that we are trying to help all our customers enjoy their visit to the Geese and Fountain safely and in comfort, and accept that while some things may not be exactly as you would prefer them, we are doing our best to look after you, our other customers and our staff at all times.

If you have any questions, please ask to speak to Nick, Sophie or Kate and we will do our best to answer them.

We made this video last summer to explain how we working. Much of it will be relevant again this year:

We have a nine page risk assessment which we are happy to share with any customers who would like to see it, and a brief summary of all our changes are explained with a leaflet on each table. It’s different to how things used to be, but we hope the warm welcome and the great food and drink are the same.

And finally…

There are a few signs around, and a helpful info sheet on all the tables. Please READ them, and follow the guidance, and the information provided to you during your visit by our team. It is all being done for your safety and protection. We know some of you will find it very different from your usual pub visits, but it is all about safety for customers and staff alike. If you’ve got any questions, we’ll be happy to answer them for you: we want you to be reassured that we’re doing everything appropriate to keep you safe.

So if you’ve missed your visits to the pub, whether for food, drinks or an overnight stay, please book a table or give us a call on 01476 870350 and we’ll be delighted to welcome you back.