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The Worst Mistake You Can Make at a Reopened Bar

Some bars are taking safety precautions to an extreme.
group bar

Bars are going through various phases of reopenings and many of us are excited to be able to get back some semblance of normalcy, by heading out for a drink with some of our favorite people. Of course, things will look differently once we actually get there, with imposed social distancing rules still very much in place across the service industry. For one, you can expect much smaller crowds due to capacity restrictions, you can forget about bar seating as it would allow for too many people to be cramped together, and your bartender and wait staff will likely be wearing masks (as will you).

But some bars are taking their coronavirus precautions even further and regulating who you can and can't mingle with on their premises. That's right, your bar may actually not allow you to socialize with strangers and will ask you to stick to the group of people you came with. This will make for a significantly different bar experience—what was once a great opportunity to branch out from your friend group and meet new people, is quickly becoming one of the worst mistakes you can make when you do end up going out to a public place.

We've already reported on things you won't be allowed to do in bars and nightclubs anymore, and along with dancing and ordering from the bar, mingling with strangers is a rule many bars across the world are starting to enforce (Sweden, for example, has imposed this rule very early on, to keep their bars open during the pandemic). That means you'll be restricted to the table your group was assigned to, and the spontaneity of freely rubbing elbows with other patrons will very much be taken out of the equation.

Not only that, but arriving in a large, unruly group may be discouraged, too. A consumer survey conducted by SipScience noted that one of the main concerns people have about returning to bars is that others may not be respecting social distancing rules, especially in a place where inhibitions and rule-obeying can quickly dissipate due to alcohol consumption.

As crazy as this rule seems, remember that businesses are simply trying to protect their customers, and are having to find creative ways to still fill their indoor spaces while keeping everyone safe. And hey, if you don't love the idea of simply sitting at a table at the bar without the opportunity to freely mingle, you can always make yourself a delicious quarantini at home and wait this storm out.

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Mura Dominko
Mura Dominko is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!. Read more