• A UK pub goes viral after installing an "electric barrier" for social distancing
  • The pub's owner said staff had got tired of patrons getting too close to the counter
  • Some customers have reported getting electric shocks from the barrier
  • Health experts say bars are hot spots for the spread of the coronavirus

A pub in the United Kingdom has installed an electric barrier around the bar to ensure that patrons follow social distancing guidelines.

The management installed the electric fence around the bar counter to deter drunk customers from getting too close, multiple reports said Sunday.

Johnny McFadden, the landlord at Star Inn and administrator of the pub, located in St. Just, Cromwell, said his staff grew tired of some customers not following social distancing guidelines.

McFadden explained the fence is there for social distancing. "Before the fence, people were not following social-distancing and were doing as they pleased, but now people take heed to the guidance around social distancing," he said.

Health experts say enclosed places like pubs and bars are hot spots for contracting the deadly coronavirus. They said such areas are particularly dangerous because of aerosol particles that stay in the air.

Bar patrons also usually speak louder, resulting in more potential coronavirus-laden particles being ejected from the body. In such cases, there is no way of knowing who is spreading the infection, Dean Blumberg, the chief of pediatric infectious diseases at the UC Davis Children's Hospital, had said in a live interaction last week.

"We do know social distancing reduces the risk of transmitting the virus by 90%," he added.

pub in the UK installs an electric fence to force patrons to observe social distancing
pub in the UK installs an electric fence to force patrons to observe social distancing H. Hach - Pixabay

Several customers at the pub reported suffering electric shocks Saturday night after downing a bit too many drinks, according to Cornwall Live, a local news website. McFadden insisted to the publication that the fence is usually switched off, but also warned that "it can be turned on."

The news about the electric fence went viral over the weekend after several people shared photos of the same on social media.

While most people joked about the fence, some expressed worry about the safety and health of customers.

"Shocking!" someone remarked on social media, using the obvious pun. Another commented that the electric barrier is the best thing he has seen in a long time. Others felt anxious about what can happen if a customer with a severe health problem touches the fence. "Better hope nobody with a heart condition touches it," the social media comment said.

St. Austell Brewery, the owner of the pub, encouraged potential customers to drop by. "Step back in time, come and visit us, a friendly welcome assured," read the sign on their website.