A bar opening on 4 July could be the first in the world to trial sterilising visitors before they enter the pub in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Pubs, bars and restaurants in England have been gearing up towards their reopening after closing down on 23 March due to lockdown restrictions.
One pub owner said he’s “seriously considering” installing a sterilisation pod which claims to be able to combat coronavirus.
The owner of Butlers #Bar103 in Gloucester, Justin Hudson, is exploring the safest options but wanted to put it to a vote by his regulars first.
In a Facebook post, the company wrote: “Would this Sterigate system outside Butlers give you added assurance that we are taking the reopening of this venue as seriously as we can?”
Regulars at the bar commented in their hundreds about its proposal.
“A bit OTT for a venue isn’t!? a hospital or nursing home yes,” one not-so-eager visitor wrote.
“Its a great idea but think its a waste of money, it don’t [sic] stop people spreading it by coughing or droplets when talking once inside,” another pointed out.
People were also confused as to why hospitals and nursing homes weren’t installing this type of equipment if it really did what it said it did.
The gate claims to be able to sterilise people for up to 24 hours by using contactless temperature checks and a three-stage virucidal disinfection process – the same sort of disinfectant which is used in anti-bacterial hand gels.
It’s not cheap, though. People wanting to get their hands on a Sterigate will have to pay £8,195 plus VAT.
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The vapour in the “decontamination tunnel” is said to contain active disinfection agents lactic acid, tartaric, peppermint oil and lavender oil.
The company say it can sterilise everything from handbags to clothes and from shoes to hair.
It’s unsurprising that the hospitality industry is looking at new ways protect themselves and visitors from coronavirus, particularly with many people still feeling on edge about the 4 July openings.
Professor Christina Pagel, from University College London (UCL), recently warned that opening pubs and restaurants too soon was sending a message to people that the pandemic was over.
Despite the reservations of some, most pubs and restaurants will reopen on 4 July.
“It might be a bit over the top but we’ve been talking to Sterigate and going through it all. It’s an option,” Hudson said.
The managing director of Sterigate, which only launched as a company on 23 June, addressed concerns that people would leave the pod wet from disinfectant on their hair and face.
“We haven’t walked through it yet with full make-up on but it is a very light mist,” said David Atkins.
“Two seconds worth of contact with this would kill the viruses, including coronavirus, that’s on your person.”