Pub Owner Installs Electric Fence around Bar to Ensure Social Distancing

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The owner of a pub in the U.K. has come up with a surefire way to get customers to practice social distancing guidelines: he's installed an electric fence around the bar.

England's pubs were allowed to reopen their doors on July 4, after being closed during the UK lockdown. Social distancing remains mandatory, and customers must hand over their contact details before they enter to help with coronavirus tracking if needed.

Jonny McFadden, who owns the Star Inn in Cornwall, says the "shocking" idea came to him when he was trying to figure out how to get customers to obey social distancing rules. After considering cordoning off the bar with rope or chain, "I thought, this is not going to keep them back," he says. So he decided to install an electric fence to "see what it does."

No one has actually been electrocuted by the fence, McFadden says -- not because customers have been distancing themselves from each other, but because the fence isn't "usually" turned on. "It's not on but it's got the desired effect that everybody thinks it's on -- and they keep well away from it," McFadden says. "It's the fear factor. It's working very well."

Asked how customers reacted to the innovation, McFadden said: "It was quite comical. We're in a rural area so everybody knows what an electric fence is. I got a little sign too on it - 'electric, danger."

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