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The Brenchley in Maidstone responds to concerns about social distancing after queues of people seen outside

A Maidstone pub has responded to concerns raised about social distancing among revellers after queues of people were seen outside last night.

A photo taken at about 11pm shows groups of pub-goers queuing to get into The Brenchley in Bank Street.

Queues outside The Brenchley in Maidstone's Bank Street on Friday night
Queues outside The Brenchley in Maidstone's Bank Street on Friday night

A witness said: "The queue was a bit of a shock. Everyone was really close together.

"There was a staff member with a clipboard from The Brenchley, who looked to be taking people's details as they walked in, which made the queue longer.

"A policeman was in Bank Street and didn't seem to be taking any action on The Brenchley, so I don't think the pub technically did anything wrong, but there were lots of people in close proximity.

"Bank Street overall looked like it was gearing up for a big night."

A spokeswoman for The Brenchley said staff and customer safety was its priority.

"We are sticking to all the rules and regulations, and that's exactly why the queue formed. Staff and customer safety is our priority"

She said: "We were following all the right precautions. The reason there was a queue was because we have a limited capacity inside.

"Due to the virus, at the moment we are not letting as many people in. We had door staff on telling people to social distance.

"We are sticking to all the rules and regulations, and that's exactly why the queue formed. Staff and customer safety is our priority."

Ahead of its reopening last weekend, The Brenchley shared its new rules on its Facebook page and reminded customers of the guidance, including not to meet in groups of more than eight people.

It said: "Visit us only if you feel well. Hand sanitiser will be available at the entrance and at key points in the venue.

"Please do not arrange to meet in groups of more than eight people - groups must be from up to two households or two 'bubbles'. Please find a table before going to the bar.

"Please respect one another's personal space. Do not move furniture, it has been set for social distancing. No standing between tables."

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