A LONG-SERVING licensee has breathed a ‘sigh of relief’ as pubs are given the thumbs up to open, however there are still fears over what the future holds.

The George and Dragon in Flint was just one premise to open its doors on July 13 after many months of lockdown.

Licensee Lynda Leigh said the past few months being unable to trade has been hard and has seen many friends hand in their keys.

She said: “Whilst my business was closed it became very difficult but there was no way I was giving up. I do not feel there was enough financial support to keep pubs open and several of my friends gave up and handed their keys in.

“It has been hard but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The George and Dragon is a community pub and I know it won’t be long before we are all back to normal, but safe distancing I think will be at the forefront of all our minds for a very long time.”

The Leader:

As pubs are still unable to open their indoor spaces, Lynda transformed her beer garden

She added: “Unlike England we can't allow customers in the pub, it’s beer garden only so very weather dependant and we transformed our outdoor area.

“But fingers crossed it’s been so far so good. We have also had many strangers in which is good. One couple came in and said well done. This was the first pub they had been to where all guidance was carried out.

“We do temperature checks, we have hand sanitizer and the track and trace so it’s about staying positive.

The Leader:

“I do fear for the future. I am the longest serving licensee in Flint of 26 years and 35 in the trade and things are just changing so fast. I know one day there will be no such thing as your local which breaks my heart it feels like your community is being ripped apart.”

The Leader previously reported that a phased return for businesses in the hospitality sector, also including bars and cafes, will be given the go-ahead as long as coronavirus cases continue to fall in the country.

The first phase would see the reopening of outdoor spaces owned by businesses and subject to existing licenses.

Reopening indoor services will be considered at a later date and will depend on the success of outdoor opening and the state of the virus in Wales, as well as measures businesses put in place to reduce the risk of transmission including pre-booking, table service and the use of apps.

The Leader: