Clarification was needed after the Government detailed further social distancing restrictions on Monday 23 March, but the MHCLG has confirmed pubs that offer accommodation would fall under the same classification as hotels and B&Bs that also have this exemption under the new guidance.
The ruling also allows permanent residents and non-UK residents – who are unable to travel to their country of residence during this period – to make use of such facilities, as well as homeless and vulnerable people.
While key workers, and other specific guests, are allowed to stay in this type of accommodation, serving food to them as a ‘dining-in’ function is not allowed, and operators of pub-hotels are still subject to a takeaway service.
But the MHCLG confirmed to The Morning Advertiser that operators of pub-hotels can still offer them room service, or the guests can take the food up to their room.
High-risk loved ones
Publicans that have already put this option into action is Ben Boothman, licensee of the Flying Horse Hotel, in Rochdale, Greater Manchester.
He said: “We need delivery drivers, we need police, we need these people and, despite everything that is going on, they still have to keep going out.”
NHS workers, police and delivery drivers are some of those who are putting themselves at risk every day and will have family members at home who are more susceptible to infection.
Boothman added: “They might have someone at home who is at high risk with chest problems, asthma, or is elderly, and would then be putting that person in danger.
“So, I’m offering this as somewhere for them to stay.”
Boothman explained such key workers are free to stay at the Flying Horse Hotel free of charge and can also use the washing rooms and staff kitchen facilities until “this all blows over”.