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Secret Garden restaurant in Sudbury calls for face coverings to be made compulsory for all food outlets while coronavirus pandemic is ongoing





The owner of a French eatery in Sudbury is calling for face coverings to be made compulsory in all food outlets, while the coronavirus pandemic continues to pose a threat.

The Secret Garden in Friars Street was forced to remodel its business due to the financial impact of the lockdown, before reopening last month.

While the Government has made it mandatory for face coverings to be worn on public transport and in shops, the rules do not currently apply to restaurants, pubs and bars, which has prompted Stephané Chapotot to highlight the inconsistencies in the approach.

The Secret Garden is launching a face covering competition in September..Each week, a customer with the most creative face covering design, will win a cream tea for two...Pictured: Lauren Standard (Front of house), Alain Jacq (Co owner), Kirsy Gowler (Front of House), Samuel Newman (Head Chef) and Harry Hine (Chef)...PICTURE: Mecha Morton.. (41750177)
The Secret Garden is launching a face covering competition in September..Each week, a customer with the most creative face covering design, will win a cream tea for two...Pictured: Lauren Standard (Front of house), Alain Jacq (Co owner), Kirsy Gowler (Front of House), Samuel Newman (Head Chef) and Harry Hine (Chef)...PICTURE: Mecha Morton.. (41750177)

“We would like to see the guidelines applied to restaurants and cafés, too.” he said. “I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask people to wear a face covering when they come in.”

Keen to keep everyone safe, Mr Chapotot and business partner, Alain Jacq, have requested face coverings to be worn by customers as they enter and leave the restaurant.

“From day one, all the staff have worn face masks and we have kindly asked our customers to wear them, too,” said Mr Chapotot, adding that he hoped the additional safety measures would help to prevent any transmission of the virus at the business, while avoiding a further lockdown in the future.

“If we all do a little bit more to help with the situation, then we should be fine,” he said.

Reflecting on the challenges that the safety measures have posed for many food outlets, Mr Chapotot said: “It’s a very tricky situation; some businesses and cafés haven’t been able to reopen because of the guidelines, but we are lucky to have big premises, which has enabled us to do that.”

Throughout this month, the business will be running a face covering competition each week, which will see a customer with the most creative design win a complimentary cream tea for two.

With a rise in coronavirus cases across Europe, Mr Chapotot said he hoped the initiative would encourage people to become inventive with their designs, while remaining conscientious about the safety measures.

He added: “It will be lovely to see what people come up with.”