PUB landlords and restaurant owners say they can’t wait to re-open to sit-in customers from July 4.

An easing of social distancing rules has made it possible for many pubs and restaurants to soon welcome customers inside for the first time in months – and now there’s just under two weeks to get everything ready.

The new “one-metre plus” rule allows people to be closer together in areas where staying two metres apart isn’t possible, as long as they take steps to decrease the risk of transmission, such as wearing face masks.

Sharron Brimble, landlady at the Railway Inn in Cam, has spent lockdown transforming her pub. She said she will be opening the doors at 12 o’clock on July 4 and she can’t wait to share the new look pub with her customers.

“I’ve spent the last three months becoming a gardener,” she said.

“I thought I can sit around and feel sorry for myself, or I can use this opportunity to get the things done that you can’t when you run a pub seven days a week. I’ve done it all myself and have turned my hand to lots of things. I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out.

“We’ve literally just put everything in place for the reopening - hand sanitiser dispensers on the walls, a one way system and special zones to sit in.

“We’ll be taking bookings and running a table service.

“And we’ve got a new pub menu too. Can’t wait.”

Peter Tiley, who has been landlord of the Salutation Inn in Ham, near Berkeley, for seven years, said that he was very much looking forward to reopening, but that the short timeframe between the government announcement on Tuesday evening and July 4 was ‘slightly frustrating’.

“July 4 had been touted as the possible date for reopening for a long time,” he said. “But the devil is in the detail. How exactly will we be allowed to open? The details were kept quiet until Tuesday night. What we’re allowed to do and not to do were just published on Tuesday night and we only read it this morning (Wednesday). That leaves a very short period of time to get stock, recall staff, retrain staff, implement the necessary measures.

“We couldn’t prepare before that, without knowing if social distancing would be at one metre or two metres. We could not invest or plan, for example we wouldn’t want to spend money on Perspex screens if they’re not needed, or get some two metre signs, if the social distancing length was going to be changed.”

Peter said the Salutation team haven’t decided on an exact date for reopening yet, but they will be up and running as soon as possible.

“Everyone is looking forward to going back,” he said. “We’ve really missed our customers and the camaraderie and conviviality of running the pub.

“No live entertainment will be permitted at first, but even with our wings clipped, at least we can start seeing our customers again.”

Andy Starling, owner of the Falcon Steakhouse in Wotton-under-Edge said that he will definitely be reopening on July 4.

“Luckily a lot of the things that a lot of pubs are going to have to put in place we already do,” he said. “We stagger our table bookings throughout the night, so that we have no table turning up at the same time as another, and we have two entrances.

“We’ll be adding hand sanitising stations throughout the pub, and we’ll have to operate a one in one out unisex toilet system.

“It’s always been one of the best things about the Falcon that our tables have always been spread out, more so than a metre, so our customers will always have that relaxed feel that they’ve got their own space and that they’re not impinging on anyone else.

“The main difficulty for us will be our bar area. It’s quite a small room and normally gets very busy, but we’re just going to have to do our very best.

“But we really just can’t wait to be open, to see our guests again and just do what we do best, and serve the best food and give the best service in our area.”

Stavros Antonio, owner of Ye Olde Dursley Hotel in Long Street, said that the new government guidelines for pubs is 43 pages long, so there’s a lot of information to process.

“All being well with the new procedures, we will be opening on July 4,” he said. “We will have all the social distancing measures in place, and will be running a table service inside and in the beer garden.

“People can call to reserve a table, and people can walk in too, but they’ll need to wait outside for a table if it’s busy.

“All the brewers are busily getting back into production, it’s really all steam ahead.

“Everybody’s happy to be coming back, it’s been a long time.”

The Star Inn in Wotton is reopening on Sunday, July 5 from 12pm.

They will not be accepting pre-bookings for tables, but will be running a first come, first serve policy at the front door.

"We are so looking forward to opening our doors for you again," they posted on Facebook.

The team at the Old Spot in Dursley said: “We are busy making preparations ready to reopen. We look forward to seeing you.”