Yesterday (Thursday 16 April) in the Government’s daily press briefing, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Dominic Raab announced the UK would remain in lockdown for at least another three weeks until the UK’s leaders could be confident the coronavirus was under control.
There has been much speculation about a post-lockdown UK and what it could mean for pubs, including the sector being the last to reopen and physical distancing rules being in place for an indefinite amount of time.
Commenting on the lockdown extension news on The Morning Advertiser’s Facebook page, several operators voiced their concerns that pubs would be the last to reopen, while another had calculated what the reality of a pub operating under physical distancing measures would look like.
User John Davenport wrote: “It appears that pubs will be the last of places to open – that means September time?”
Amy Durnall posted: “Won’t hold our breath. The problem is, can we afford to reopen when we are allowed?
“It costs money to restock a bar and with huge deficits owed and can’t pay back yet, you’d never catch up and be in your overdraft forever. I reckon August/September [reopening at the] earliest.”
Meanwhile, anticipating the eventual reopening of pubs and the physical distancing being in place, Michael Hewitt wrote: “I can see the problem in allowing pubs to reopen soon is the social distancing rule of 2 metres. I did a quick calculation, I could hold 16 people only, [which] would not cover the costs.”
Another, Clive Roper, posted: “I realistically can’t see pubs and restaurants being open before September at the earliest, the spacing has to remain in place for many months.”
However, such comments are pure speculation as the Government has not revealed any plans it may have in place to bring the country out of lockdown, nor has it indicated what role pubs will have in the future.