Will pub staff police risky behaviour?

3 July 2020, 16:00 | Updated: 3 July 2020, 16:51

By Fiona Jones

Shelagh Fogarty pushed Pub Association chief Emma McClarkin to answer whether pub staff will police "risky behaviour" when they open tomorrow.

Ms McClarkin responded, "The safest place to be drinking is in a licensed and managed environment...we are hosts, we are used to managing people, that's what we do as an industry."

She urged patrons to "come back responsibly" and respect other customers and, crucially, staff who will be having to operate in a new way.

"If we want the pub to still be there...then we really do need to respect the rules when we go back to the pub tomorrow."

Shelagh asked, "And if someone doesn't?"

"Well they would be making themselves a bit of a nuisance for absolutely everybody," Ms McClarkin said.

Shelagh Fogarty says drunk people will be a "ticking time bomb" for spreading coronavirus
Shelagh Fogarty says drunk people will be a "ticking time bomb" for spreading coronavirus. Picture: LBC/PA

Shelagh countered, "It is more than a bit of a nuisance it's really risky for all of us if somebody decides they can touch anything, kiss anyone, touch anyone, that's actually a time bomb not a nuisance."

Ms McClarkin responded that while they have put all the safety measures possible in place, "at the end of the day we're publicans not policemen" and people are going to have to take responsibility.

"If they don't will publicans call the police and say there's someone here potentially spreading the virus, can you remove them please?" asked Shelagh, to which Ms McClarkin replied it would depend on the publican and situation.

"We're very much hoping that the majority of people will be excited to come back to the pub, respectful of the pub, and wanting to support their local business and reconnect with their community. So I think we should focus on those that are going to be behaving in the majority," she said.