When will pubs reopen in the UK? – The Sun

PUBS may be allowed to open soon in the UK as the Government unveils its "road map" out of the coronavirus lockdown.

According to official recommendations, bars and restaurants could open by the summer if they can maintain social distancing measures. Here's what we know so far.

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When will pubs reopen in the UK?

Government officials have previously suggested it could take many months for pubs to reopen – sparking fears for the future of many of the UK's 48,349 locals.

But a top Government adviser said at the beginning of May there is no reason pub beer gardens should not reopen – as long as boozers can maintain social distancing.

Tourism boss Peter Waters, chief executive of Chief Executive of Visit East, also said on Radio 4's Today Programme that pubs could reopen as early as next month.

Reports on when Brits will be able to prop up the bar have conflicted since lockdown began.

But the latest advice states that bars and restaurants could open by July 1, dependent on the ability to allow customers to safely social distance.

And pub chain Greene King is planning to reopen beer gardens, with punters ordering their drinks on the phone.

How would social distancing work in pubs?

Employers are likely to be asked to stagger working hours for some staff, while hand washing kits are set to be introduced at entry and exit points.

Regular cleaning will be needed, while there could be caps on the number of people allowed into a bar at any one time.

British pub operators have also asked for social distancing rules to be halved from two metres to one in talks with government on reopening, worried that many will have to close permanently otherwise, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

The report cited Simon Emeny, chief executive of pub group Fuller's, as saying that the rules in the country currently went "above and beyond" the World Health Organisation guidelines.

"I think it's really important that (the rules) are relaxed by the time pubs reopen," Emeny was quoted as saying.

The FT also added that Jonathan Neame, the head of pub operator Shepherd Neame, said attempting to keep people two metres away would be "profoundly challenging" and many pubs would have to remain closed.

It's also likely that punters will be able to order fewer drinks, while tape showing how far apart customers must stand from one another could be used.

Scientists say the discovery of a vaccine is the only genuine "exit strategy" from the virus, meaning the country will have to adjust to a "new normal".

What about beer gardens and outdoor seating areas?

Early in May Professor Robert Dingwall, a top Government adviser, said pub beer gardens should reopen as long as punters can stay apart.

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."

Tourism Alliance Director Kurt Janson told the Sun Online that pubs could open up large beer gardens on high streets and farmlands in order to maintain socially-distant drinking.

Those already with allocated outdoor seating are due to be given guidance on how they might be able to reopen from next month.

It is hoped the outdoor openings will allow venues to get people back to work.

Shops may also be able to set up stalls outdoors so they can sell their wares on the streets.

Which pubs have apps?

Some pub chains have their own apps.

The Greene King app was launched in December 2019 in its 267 Hungry Horse pubs.

It allows customers to order food and drinks to their table in the pub.

Wetherspoon unveiled its Order & Pay app in 2017 in a bid to ensure customers never have to queue at a bar again.

App users have to select which pub they're drinking in and the table number so that the order will be processed at the right branch.

Chain Mitchell & Butlers has a similar offering with its "sizzling pubs" app.

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has a "good beer guide" app, which provides listing of top pubs nearby, while Cask Finder provides a guide to real ale from beer industry experts Cask Marque.

How has the hospitality industry been affected?

As well as missing the Euros this year, that bring in millions for locals, a closure over Christmas could sink a huge number of Britain’s locals.

Frank Maguire from Truman’s brewery, which has traded in London since 1666, said: “Things are looking pretty dire.

“At this rate it seems unlikely that pubs will be open again before Christmas.

“Small independent breweries are part of this country’s DNA, but a lot of them won’t survive unless the government extends the grants it has offered to pubs and hotels.

“A lot of pubs and breweries were already struggling. If they take on loads of debt, the system will break.”

How can I support my local?

You can join campaigns like Long Live the Local, who are trying to get the government to freeze beer duty to support pubs when they finally reopen.

The team is also working on some new plans to try and mitigate the massive toll our boozers are paying for coronavirus.

Budweiser is selling gift cards for pubs here, which they then match as a donation to your pub. Landlords can add their pubs to the scheme too.

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