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Well, we are clearly all in the wrong business. Sign-writing is where it’s at: no sooner have they finished their last order of Keep 2m Apart posters than they can do it all over again with their Keep 1m Apart signs. Talk about repeat business.

It’s not just a lifeline for them, but hopefully for the hospitality business as well. That 1m reduction will mean the majority of pubs and restaurants will be able to open in some capacity. In fact, I’m hoping 1m will feel surprisingly normal. We are a nation that likes to guard its personal space, and even in normal circumstances few of us naturally stand much closer than that to strangers.

Social distancing isn’t the only tool in our arsenal of course. Face masks and safety screens have important parts to play. But how will things play out now that a visit to a pub requires everyone to give their name and contact number?

When there was talk of an NHS tracking and tracing app (remember that?), plenty of people were up in arms about the potential abuse of their personal data. Is having to give your name and number to a publican better or worse?

I guess it depends how much you like your beer, but I’m against it. Not for any libertarian reasons, you understand, but because it’s yet another potential deterrent for people to get back to normal and reeks of double standards. No one makes the same demands when you go into a supermarket or cram on to a crowded train carriage, so why is the hospitality business being singled out as the bogeyman?


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