AN AMMANFORD pub landlady has welcomed the reopening of pubs across Wales but has raised concerns over staff having to “police” people who try to break Covid rules.

Helen Rees of The Cottage Inn said it was a relief to be able to welcome back drinkers to the Wind Street pub on Monday after outdoor drinking and dining was given the go-ahead to reopen in Wales for the first time in more than five months.

Under Government restrictions, venues can currently only serve customers sitting at an outdoor table in groups of up to six.

Speaking to the Guardian Helen said: “Reopening has been so lovely, and it has been great to see the regulars again, but my staff have found themselves in the position of having to police some people who try to break the Covid rules.

“We are in the hospitality industry and we want our customers to have a good time but if they start to mingle, we will have to ask them to leave.”

Helen said that the staff hasn’t had to remove anyone but said that warnings have been issued.

“We are using a referee system with a whistle and we are issuing yellow and red cards – if you get a red, you’re out,” she said.

“We know how difficult it is when you spot someone you haven’t seen in a long time and we want everyone to enjoy themselves, but safely. The referee system adds a bit of fun and banter, but we will be taking rule-breaking very seriously.”

Despite some concerns surrounding the rules, Helen said she is thrilled to be back open again.

“It’s been a long time and I was a little rusty to begin with to be honest,” she said. “But it was so good to be back behind the bar and welcome back my lovely staff and customers.

"The best part of the job is seeing people enjoying themselves and that's what we are here for."

Helen, who is set to open a brand new restaurant in town later this year, added: "I am taking a cautious approach to running things after the past year and taking things one step at a time. It's been a very difficult few months for everyone so we want things done right."

The Cottage will be serving drinks only this week outdoors but staff are taking bookings for outdoor dining which starts back next week.