George Eustice, Environment Secretary, has said that hospitality businesses with beer gardens and outdoor space could be able to welcome customers in just a matter of weeks.
Speaking to Sky News, he said: “The sectors that are going to have the greatest challenge getting back to work, which we recognise, and I’m sure the Chancellor recognises this too – is the hospitality sector and some of those other ticketed venues, in particular cinemas and theatres, restaurants and pubs, will also face a challenge getting back in to operation.
“And that is why we won’t be loosening the restrictions on them until at least July and even then it is likely that in the case of pubs and restaurants it will begin with beer gardens and outdoor areas only.”
Those within the industry have started working on plans to reopen, following Government guidelines for outdoor areas and implementing distancing rules, in the hope that they will be able to reopen from 4th July.
JD Wetherspoon, which operates nearly 900 pubs, has announced plans for a full reopening when permitted – measures they aim to introduce include a ‘one-way’ system to and from the bar and tables surrounded by screens.
The City Pub Group has said it will set up temporary outdoor bars at their 47 pubs, with staff ferrying drinks to it from inside. Bars and cafes across the UK have been spotted setting up shop outdoors and selling items from their menus, although it is not clear if this is currently allowed.