The temptation to squeeze just one more table onto the Ram’s new outdoor seating area has been turned down as safety remains a top priority before reopening.

The government’s roadmap for reopening England provides for pubs, restaurants and bars with beer gardens, outdoor areas and parking spaces to open for socially distant drinks and meals from Monday April 12, provided the country continues to manage the coronavirus.

“It’s been a strange time for all of us,” said Felix Bevis, who is part of the management team at The Ram in Castlegate, Newark, which last pulled a beer in late October.

The Ram Pub is preparing the outdoor area for the pubs to reopen. Michael Elms from Lumineri builds a new seating area. (45367909)

“As a business, we’re used to working at full speed all the time, and it was difficult not to do anything overnight.

“We took the opportunity to plan ahead, whether this be the creation of our new outdoor seating area or new dining and cocktail menus.

“All security measures have been taken seriously and we are continuing to work on licensing to make sure we are ready to reopen.

“We can’t wait to open again.

“At the end of the tunnel there is light and we are thrilled. The pub industry is both a passion and a job for everyone I know and who are involved in it. “

While it didn’t have to lay off anyone, all of The Ram’s employees have been on leave and some are more likely to have moved on to other jobs, leaving a core of ten to fifteen to add to the company.

The management team is grateful for the assistance they received through the vacation program as well as corporate support grants and corporate rates, and say that a protective arm has been placed around them.

“It’s a busy summer,” said Felix.

“In a perfect world, people would stream in and we would be back to what it used to be in pubs. However, this is not possible and no matter how tempting it may be, everything will be done in the safest possible way.

“Whatever the temptation to push an extra table outside, there will be resistance.

“If the vaccine rollout continues to go well and the number of cases continues to decline, I am confident that it will reopen on June 21st and that social distancing will be completely eliminated – this is the holy grail of what we are working towards.

“We want people to stand at the bar, smile, chat and enjoy themselves, but there is still a long way to go.

“Pubs are an integral part of British culture and I think most people hope that one day we’ll be back to them again.”