Government plans to ‘open at least some pubs from 4 July’

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Phased reopening: the Government document sets out its plans for the easing of lockdown restrictions
Phased reopening: the Government document sets out its plans for the easing of lockdown restrictions

Related tags Coronavirus

The Government is hoping to open businesses including some pubs this summer (4 July), as part of the final phase of its three-step plan to ease lockdown restrictions.

This was revealed in the Government’s document Our Plan to Rebuild: The UK Government’s Covid-19 recovery strategy​.

It followed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s pre-recorded address, which outlined a three-phase “road map” of lockdown restrictions easing. However, he emphasised that this was a plan and if infection rates and deaths start to rise, he would “put the brakes on”.

The guidance, which one trade body said was good news for pubs that can meet social distancing requirements by July, stated: “The next step will also take place when the assessment of risk warrants further adjustments to the remaining measures.

“The Government’s current planning assumption is this step will be no earlier than 4 July, subject to the five tests justifying some or all of the measures below, and further detailed scientific advice, provided closer to the time, on how far we can do.”

Covid-19 secure guidelines

It added: “The ambition at this step is to open at least some of the remaining businesses and premises that have been required to close, including personal care (such as hairdressers and beauty salons), hospitality (such as food service providers, pubs and accommodation), public places (such as places of worship) and leisure facilities (like cinemas).

“They should also meet the Covid-19 secure guidelines. Some venues which are, by design, crowded and where it may prove difficult to enact distancing may still not be able to open safely at this point, or may be able to open safely in part.

“Nevertheless, the Government will wish to open as many businesses and public places as the data and information at the time allows.”

However, the document also urged people to wear a face-covering in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible.

The Government has also now issued steps employers should take and be implemented as soon as practical.

It urges employers to carry out a Covid-19 risk assessment, in consultation with workers or trade unions, maintain two metres’ social distancing wherever possible.

Meeting social distancing measures

Where people cannot be two metres apart, the transmission risk must be managed and employers should look into putting barriers in shared spaces, creating workplace shift patterns of fixed teams, minimising the number of people in contact with one another or ensuring colleagues are facing away from each other.

It also said employers should ensure workplaces are cleaned for frequently and provide hand-washing facilities or hand sanitisers at entry and exit points.

British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Emma McClarkin said the possible reopening of the hospitality sector would be great news for pubs who can meet social distancing measures required by then.

However, she called for more clarity on the conditions needed for pubs to reopen and for additional financial support.

UKHospitality said it had been working with members and others to draw up protocols tailored to individual sub-sectors covering pubs, late-night venues, coffee shops, accommodation, food service management, holiday parks, quick-service restaurants and visitor attractions on reopening.

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