ONE of the town's most-loved pubs has plans in place to reopen on July 4, but is taking "every precaution necessary to make everyone feel safe".

Like venues across the country, the doors have remained locked at The Cricketers Arms since the coronavirus lockdown was enforced at the end of March.

It's been a long few months for the regulars who cherish the company, chat and a pint or two at the cosy pub on Peter Street, St Helens.

St Helens Star:

Some of the measures in place at The Cricketers Arms 

But yesterday it was announced that on Saturday, July 4, pubs along with restaurants and cinemas will be able to reopen with restrictions in place.

It has been a trying time too for landlords such as the Cricks' Andy Evans, but he is doing everything he can to make the reopening go as smoothly as possible.

St Helens Star:

Talking exclusively to the Star he said: "We have implemented a number of things to keep our staff and visitors as safe as possible, while enjoying themselves.

"We will be putting signs on fixed chairs that will be out of use to enforce the one metre distance rules and will install 10 tall tables outside in the car park spaces out one metre apart so people can still drink and have their pints with those they live with safely.

St Helens Star:

St Helens Star:

"The job of a good publican is to get bums on seats, but we are doing the opposite, we want to do every precaution necessary to make everyone feel safe and that's what matters right now.

"We are a traditional pub, so we have to adapt it, and by working together we can do that.

"I will be strict, there is table service only, a registration book by the door, one way entry and exit and anyone not adhering to rules will be made to leave.

"We have a polythene barrier on the bar to protect staff and customers just to the layout of the bar, but there will be no service there.

"There will also be visors, gloves and full PPE for myself, Denise and two other staff who will work in the initial opening."

Despite this, Andy is not confident a Saturday reopening is the best idea set out by the Government, he explains: "Me personally I don't understand why after months of being shut they'd open pubs up on a Saturday, because its the busiest day.

St Helens Star:

St Helens Star:

"If they opened on a Monday there would be a bedding in period to get used to this new way of working, ahead of the usual busy day.

"I understand the pressure they have been under to lower restrictions and boost the hospitality sector in particular during this time, and I'm up for the challenge. But I do question the reopening on a Saturday.

"We may make the decision to postpone it to Monday, I'd rather put everyone's safety first, as much as I want to reopen, we are in a pandemic and this has to be done in the most responsible way.

"We will announce that closer to the time on our Facebook page."