Update: 14th May 2020
The Committee met on 12 May to consider what to do following the government’s revised Covid 19 guidance published this week. Nothing fundamental in the guidance has changed regarding The Dog Inn except that there is now a strategy for reducing restrictions in stages. It is clear that pubs will be in the last stage and that any business that re-opens will have to comply with some social distancing requirements.
The Committee is therefore looking at how we can re-open when allowed with social distancing measures in place and at re-opening in stages with some services coming back before the pub is fully open. We will look at this in more detail at the beginning of June when the government has said it next plans to relax Covid 19 restrictions.
Update: 19th April 2020
On 16 March, the government advised people not to go to pubs because of the Covid 19 pandemic. The board decided to keep The Dog Inn open but to institute social distancing measures including encouraging contactless payments, increased cleaning and cancelling all events.
However on 20 March the government announced all pubs must close. The Committee tried to keep the shop open and several people put in a lot of time and effort to do this. But it rapidly became apparent that we could not ensure the safety of customers and volunteers. So the decision was taken reluctantly to close the shop. Some members of the committee have since supported the setting up of Belthorn Buddies.
Since then the Committee’s priority has been to make sure that there is still a Dog Inn to come back to once the Covid 19 pandemic is over. We will have little income over the coming months but still have outgoings. We have maximised support from the government including the hospitality and leisure grant and payments to furlough all our staff team. We are actively investigating other support that may be available. We have reduced outgoings, renegotiated deals and renegotiated payments where we can. As a result we are sure that we have enough cash to see us through for several months even if there is no more government support made available.
We closed the community shop because as it was set up we couldn’t ensure the safety of customers and volunteers within current government guidelines. We have seen that there is demand from many people in the village to re-open the shop which we will look into. But any re-opening must address the issues of the safety of customers and volunteers. This will need planning and organising. We also know that the government is expected to change its guidance on 7 May. We will look at whether we can re-open based on this changed guidance.
We have taken the opportunity of the pub being closed to repaint the inside and to complete some much needed repairs and renewals. This work has been carried out by Craig Steele.
The Dog Inn may be closed but there is an incredible amount of work going on behind the scenes to make sure that, as and when possible, The Dog Inn will re-open.