The new screens which have been erected at the counter in Tinney's pub in Derry.
This is what the future of our pubs are expected to look like.
These exclusive photographs show the special screens which have been erected at Tinney's Bar in Derry.
All other pubs are expected to install similar screens between staff and customers as the hospitality sector reopens following the coronavirus lockdown.
A local blinds shop has been assisting Derry bars and businesses as they prepare to reopen safely.
Ace Blinds have been operating in the Derry area, serving the community for over five years and employing local people.
As businesses adjust to the so-called new normal after lockdown, they have to enforce social distancing and come up with innovative ways to protect their customers.
Therefore, Ace Blinds has fitted ‘COVID-19 roller shields’ in local bars and the orders have been mounting from other businesses in the city.
“It has gone a bit crazy at the minute and we have already taken 12 orders for bars,” says John Kelly of Ace Blinds.
It is new territory for Ace Blinds in terms of the material they are using.
“The plastic material suits bars great as they can be moved up and down very easily, not like perspex, and they are a lot easier on the eye for customers, so more friendly. They can be attached to suspension ceilings with a special clip so no drilling if needs be.
“The material is easily cleaned, you just hold the bottom bar and wipe clean and it can be secured to bars or the ground if needed.”
The company has fitted the bathroom at E&I Engineering to separate sinks which provides an extra layer of protection for workers.
Other businesses in the town have come to them with different proposals which they’re working through together.
This week, the Economy Minister Dianne Dodds announced that all non-essential goods retailers in Northern Ireland can re-open from tomorrow.
Pubs and restaurants are expected to follow suit in July.
Confirming the ‘major step forward’, the Minister said: “The pandemic has had a devastating impact on the local economy. The recovery has already begun and it is time now for the pace to accelerate. The re-opening of all goods retail outlets will be a huge part of this.
“The safety of staff and customers is of course paramount. All retailers must be able to implement measures that minimise the risk to their staff and to the people who visit their stores.
“We will be co-existing with this virus for some time to come so it is vital that we continue to adhere to guidance to work and live safely.”
The Minister added: “The re-opening of our local shopping sector is a significant step forward in the Executive’s pathway to recovery. I and my Executive colleagues remain committed to moving forward in the recovery while at all times keeping the health, wellbeing and safety of people at the centre and being transparent in our approach.”
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