Plans for reopening Royal Victoria Pavilion in Ramsgate

Royal Victoria Pavilion Photo Frank Leppard

JD Wetherspoon has drawn up plans for the reopening of its pubs, including the Royal Victoria Pavilion in Ramsgate.

The government ‘coronavirus roadmap’ has laid out indications for when businesses can reopen, with non-essential retail expected to welcome customers from June 15.

However, pubs are likely to be in the last tranche of reopening after July 4 because of the deemed higher risk of transmission.

Wetherspoon says social distancing measures will result in the employment of two full time staff per pub, slightly more for bigger pubs, who will regularly clean surfaces and touch points throughout the pubs.

Royal Victoria Pavilion will have screens at the till point. There will also be screens to create seating areas where it is not possible to separate the tables to the social distancing requirement.

Pre-covid photo

Wetherspoon will provide gloves, masks and protective eyewear. Employees can elect whether to wear them or not, subject to government guidelines.

There will be an average ten hand sanitiser dispensers around the pub, including at the entrance for customers and staff to use.

Every employee will have to complete and sign a daily health assessment questionnaire to confirm that they are fit to work. This will include having their temperature taken using a digital thermometer.

Dedicated staff will monitor the pub at all times in order to maintain social distancing standards and there will be a member of staff on the door at peak times.

Pre-covid photo

The pub will use one entrance with a separate exit door if possible. Customer entry and exit will be marked out by floor stickers and/or barriers and there will be clear printed information providing guidance to customers as they enter the pub.

The pub will have a member of staff working full time (two staff per pub to cover all opening hours) to sanitise all the contact points during opening hours.

These will include door handles, allergen information screens, card payment machines and hand rails.

Customers will be asked to use the Wetherspoon order and pay app, wherever possible, or pay at the bar using a credit/debit card and contactless, although cash will be accepted.

Pre-covid photo

Staff will hand over all drinks holding the base of the glass and when ordered by the app they will be delivered to the table on a tray and placed on the table using the base of the glass.

Food will be delivered to the table by a member of floor staff. The pub will also offer a slightly reduced menu and will provide sachets (ketchup, mayonnaise, salt pepper etc), rather than their usual condiment bottles.

All staff will receive a full briefing and training on the new way of running the pub.

Photo Phil Bay

Chris Whitbourn, manager at Royal Victoria Pavilion, said: “At present the government have not confirmed any reopening date for pubs. However, it is important that we are prepared for any announcement.

“We have spent a number of weeks consulting with staff who work in our pubs, as well as area managers in order to draw up our plans. The safety of staff and customers is paramount.”

Thanet businesses coping with the Covid impact and planning for the next phase


  1. I do miss my regular trip to the local.
    It’s quite right that pubs will be amongst the last places to open, given the problems with maintaining social distancing in such venues.
    Some of the bigger pubs might be able to do it, but it could be really tricky for smaller ones.
    In the meanwhile, I’ll settle for my deliveries of Gadds’ to my door.

  2. I wonder if any other pubs in Thanet are planning some sort of opening? I imagine our micropubs could find it a bit tricky.

  3. Why not go for a pint in a local free house and support local business’s when they open, not Tim Martin. He showed his true colours when he refused to pay his staff until the furlough money came in, then backed down after pressure from the public, they guy is a self centred money grabber. Don’t support Tim Martin, support local free house pubs that actually serve decent food and drink!

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