Huntingdon’s The Old Bridge restaurant and hotel has decided not to open its doors till the end of August.

The Old Bridge in Huntingdon                                                                                PICTURE: John HoskinsThe Old Bridge in Huntingdon PICTURE: John Hoskins

The decision has come from hotel and resturant owner John Hoskins who has ran the establishment for 26 years.

Mr Hoskins said: “I am not prepared to get the opening of The Old Bridge wrong and to open up too quickly.

“I need to see for myself what are the best precaution measures to take to reopen safely.

“First thing is following the regulations and interpreting them in a way that is deemed safe, by our customers and staff.

“We have got to be confident in what we are going to offer to guests, still recognising The Old Bridge experience.

“So we are looking at things such as sanitisation, social distancing, taking names and addresses of guests and the use of face masks.

Mr Hoskins said the wine shop at the hotel had remained open and he is working on plans to get staff who have been furloughed, back to work.

“We are lucky that we own the freehold of the business, so we do not have to pay rent every month, and our wine shop has stayed open throughout, which has brought us a little income.

“I do not want to make any redundancies, my staff are furloughed at the moment and I aim to bring them back.

“We are a big place and serve a lot of people, with many places holding a maximum capacity, I am not sure how we are going to do that just yet and I need to look at what I can do to make it safe.

“I congratulate everyone else who is planning to reopen on Saturday and will be myself observing what other pubs and restaurants will be doing to keep Covid-19 secure.”

Customers at the White Hart pub, in Godmanchester, will have to wait an extra week or so before the pub opens its doors to the public.

The timbered pub, which dates back to the 15th century, has been closed since Mothering Sunday when it ran a take-away service and now expects to be back in business at the end of next week.

Susan Cooper, from the pub, said it was crucial that everything necessary for opening was ready.

“We are doing refurbishment throughout, staff have to be trained and we have to make sure everything is in place. It has also got to be worthwhile opening,” she said.

Mrs Cooper said the pub’s small rooms, including the kitchen, meant it was difficult to maintain distancing.

“We are looking at opening towards the end of next week,” she said.