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The new pub test

Saturday, 21st March, 2020

Broken Hill Pub’s Leon Cartledge performs a voluntary temperature check on Nicole Gurney yesterday afternoon. PICTURE: Annette Northey Broken Hill Pub’s Leon Cartledge performs a voluntary temperature check on Nicole Gurney yesterday afternoon. PICTURE: Annette Northey

By Annette Northey

The Broken Hill Pub (BHP) is implementing an unprecedented measure to ensure the safety and well-being of their patrons in the current public health climate.

BHP Venue Manager Leon Cartledge said despite there being no reported confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus in Broken Hill, the establishment is taking the matter seriously.

“(We are) doing our part to help prevent the spread and also offer the safest entertainment and work environment we can to both our patrons and employees,” he said.

One such measure, and currently the only private establishment in Broken Hill to be doing it at present, is the provision for patrons to have their temperature taken upon entering the premises.         

“It’s totally voluntary for the customers,” Mr Cartledge said.

“We want our customers to feel safe.

“Our staff check their temperature every day.”

Managing Director of the BHP Margaret McBride said in a statement: “Temperature checks using a non-contact infrared thermometer will be offered to all patrons on a voluntary basis upon entering the premises. 

“Any patron testing above 37.5 degrees it is recommended that you should seek medical advice.

“All staff will be mandatory temp-checked at the commencement of every shift, and those employees that test 37.5 degrees and above will not be allowed to commence work.”

The hotel has implemented a host of precautions and measures aimed at ensuring the safety and wellbeing of their patrons. 

For instance, disposable paper menus are offered and discarded after a single use; salt and pepper shakers are only available on request and thoroughly cleaned before being re-issued; cutlery and utensils are issued in a holder with individually served meals.

Drinking straws have been removed from the bar and also available upon request. Tables and chairs are wiped down after each use.

Usual measures, such as regular wiping of high-traffic surfaces and provision of hand sanitiser, are of course in place.

In terms of downturn in business since social distancing guidelines were introduced, Mr Cartledge said it was hard to tell, especially since he is not from Broken Hill and he doesn’t know what the traffic at this time last year would have been.

“Yes, there has been slightly fewer numbers recently, but we put it down to the lead up to the St Pat’s and post St Pat’s races. You know, people saving their money, etc.,” he said.

Asked if access to supplies had presented an issue yet, Mr Cartledge said it had in some ways but that he was hoping it wouldn’t become too much of a problem.

“Yes, not with our general supplies, but certainly with sanitising products - we have had to source from other suppliers,” he said.

Asked if he was expecting to have to cut opening hours and/or staff hours, Mr Cartledge was remaining optimistic.

“We are hoping that we won’t have to. 

“Nobody wants to lay anybody off. We’re definitely not using it (the coronavirus) as an excuse to cull staff,” he said.

“We love our staff and we have a good team.

“We are exploring other options to generate revenue, but like any other business, if the economic climate changes we will have to take steps to keep the doors open.

“All going well, the community will keep supporting businesses in our area and hopefully ride these unfortunate events out,” Mr Cartledge said.

“Our doors remain open.”

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