When will pubs reopen in the UK? Latest government updatesComments Off on When will pubs reopen in the UK? Latest government updates
Pubs, cafes, bars and restaurants have been closed in Britain since March 20.
However, according to official recommendations, they could open by summer if they can maintain social distancing measures.
Pubs could make use of beer gardens and outdoor spaces to partially reopen in the coming months.
It could take longer for pubs without open areas to reopen – and they would have to pay for an outdoor licence.
Government officials had previously suggested the UK’s more than 48,000 pubs would not reopen for many months.
However, in early May Professor Robert Dingwall, a Government adviser said pub beer gardens could reopen, as long as they can maintain social distancing.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “If it is a sunny weekend afternoon and the pub has a garden and the landlords are prepared to accept responsibility for not overcrowding that garden, I see no particular reason why it should not reopen.”
What measures will landlords take to keep customers safe?
Pubs will need to be regularly cleaned, and there could be limits on the number of people allowed inside at a time.
Staff working hours will likely be staggered, and hand washing kits will be added at exits and entrances.
Some pub chains, such as Greene King, plan to reopen gardens with customers ordering their drinks by phone to avoid long queues.
Some chains such as Wetherspoons already allow customers to use apps to order drinks and food – and this practice may increase as pubs re-open.
Tourism Alliance Director Kurt Janson told the Sun that pubs could open up large beer gardens on high streets and farmlands to help social distancing.
The Financial Times reported on Monday that British pub operators have asked for social distancing rules to be halved from two metres to one in talks with government on reopening, concerned that otherwise many would have to close.
How will Wetherspoons manage the reopening?
Wetherspoons, Britain’s largest pub chain with around nine per cent of the market, has revealed strict social distancing and cleaning measures for when its 875 UK and Irish pubs can reopen.
The company has said it will encourage people to pay by its app and sit outside. Tables inside will be separated by screens.
Customers will otherwise queue in a one-way system with social distancing measures in place.
Each pub will have at least two workers cleaning tables and frequent touch points regularly, Wetherspoons said. Hand sanitisers will also be installed in each pub.
Employees will be given masks and gloves, but won’t have to wear them, the company added.