A POPULAR seafront restaurant has announced that it will not be reopening on July 4 in a pledge to keep staff and visitors safe.

Chineside, located on the beachfront of Durley Chine, will remain closed until staff deem it safe to reopen.

The announcement was made on their Facebook page on Monday, 29 June and was not an easy one for joint owner Rob Shearman to make.

He said: "We have been open for about six weeks offering takeaway, but after the absolute chaos that ensued last week in Bournemouth we would not be able to control or police that amount of people. It would not be safe for staff or customers, people wouldn't be able to distance themselves on the staircase or terrace and table service would be difficult.

"It's just not feasible for us."

Ensuring safety is a predominant factor in keeping the restaurant closed, but the financial implications of taking more staff off furlough and the restaurant's reliance on good weather are also key factors.

Rob said: "Our restaurant can feel like a festival when we have an influx of people, so if lots of people were to come in the building it would be chaos. We had to weigh all our options up.

"Everyone seems to be behind us and we've had a lot of positive comments."

For now, Chineside will continue to solely offer takeaway service and "play it by ear" with regard to opening fully.

Rob said: "We will see how everyone else copes with reopening first, which is particularly hard for businesses on the seafront. Everybody's in the same situation but we've just got to get through this summer season."

To keep up to date with Chineside, visit the restaurant's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/chinesidecafe/?