SCREENS between tables, one-way systems and face shields...that’s what you can expect when you walk through the doors of our restaurants as they return today.

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Restaurants, cafes and hairdressers have been shut for three months.

But for the past few weeks, bosses have painstakingly put together plans to keep customers and staff safe when restaurants reopen.

Today has been described as Super Saturday by commentators, suggesting an initial rush to some normality.

To prepare for today's big day, which will also see pubs, hotels, cinemas and hairdressers open, restaurant teams have put a series of measures to keep coronavirus at bay.

Things are about to look a whole lot different.

The Tandoori Parlour, a family business of 45 years, will have nearly a dozen hand sanitisers peppered around the restaurant, tables spread two metres apart, chairs and tables cleaned after every customer with fresh linen laid out. There will also be an a la carte buffet service delivered right to guests to avoid any contact when choosing a dish.

Chefs, kitted out from head to toe in protective gear, will have their own dedicated work stations spread out at least a two metre distance in the restaurant kitchen.

Shah Ali, manager of the Indian restaurant on Hart Road, Thundersley, said: “It’s nothing any of us, not even my dad Royis who ran the place before me, have seen in our whole lifetime.

“We were devastated to have to shut our doors, especially to our three generations worth of regulars who have become close friends over the years.

“Going from a venue which is used for charity nights, weddings, and anniversaries to literally nothing was so strange, we’ve been doing takeaways from our branch Wheelers on Bread and Cheese Hill, but it’s not the same as seeing everyone’s faces and having a good old catch up.

“We want to make it as safe as we possibly can and luckily we have so much room, we’ve even taken 100 seats out from downstairs to make this happen.

“Our team size is also reduced and staff have had extra training to prepare themselves. They’ll be washing their hands and sanitising throughout.”

The 46-year-old added: “With this being in our family for such a long time it’s in our blood- it’s our craft and we’re ready for whatever is next.

“We’re so excited to see our customers from 5.30pm onwards, I know lots will be eager to come back.”

Italian restaurant Piccolo, in Shorefield Road, Westcliff, will have screens in between each table to keep customers safely apart.

Restaurant manager, Daria Shendemirdzhi, said: “Some people are still quite cautious to come back out again, so we want to make people feel as safe as possible on their return.

“We’ll have sanitisers by the entrance and the toilet, temporary screens between each table to keep people apart, will be constantly washing our hands and sanitising surfaces and staff will wear face shields too.

“The business has been running for nearly 43 years so I do think the dynamic is going to be different, especially with the amount of cleaning we will be getting up to.

“After every customer we will be deep cleaning tables and the bar surface, and we’re keeping it to book-ins to keep track of the numbers coming in. It will definitely be emotional to see everyone back.”

Ocean Beach, in Eastern Esplanade, Southend, is set to open on Tuesday and customers can expect to see a one-way system around the restaurant.

Owner Ritchie Bridge, said: “It was so upsetting when we had to close at the end of March, we didn’t know what was going to happen or when we’d re-open.

“We decided to delay the re-opening until early next week to avoid the expected rush of Saturday. We want to start gently so we can just see how things go, but staff really are rearing and ready to get back to it.

“We’ve got a whole number of other measures in place including having a maximum of six people per table.

“We even measured the restaurant to make sure people are far enough apart and will be taking everyone’s names and numbers on entry.”