Customers turn up in ‘ski jackets and hats’ to back pub

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Snowy showers: the Wiremill in Lingfield, Surrey was one of the pubs hit by cold weather on the day beer gardens reopened
Snowy showers: the Wiremill in Lingfield, Surrey was one of the pubs hit by cold weather on the day beer gardens reopened

Related tags: Beer, Pub, Hospitality, Snow, Sussex, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, lockdown, coronavirus, Health and safety

Pubgoers have not been deterred by cold weather and snow showers, according to one operator who reopened this morning.

Hospitality reopens for outdoor trade today (Monday 12 April) after months of closure due to England’s third national lockdown and regional restrictions.

Parts of England were hit with rain, sleet and snow showers this morning with cold temperatures predicted for the rest of the day in areas including Berkshire, Sussex and Kent. 

However, Surrey-based operator Tim Foster said his customers have not been put off by flurries of snow and said the Wiremill pub in Lingfield had seen 98 covers for breakfast.

He sent The Morning Advertiser​ a video of snow falling outside the pub’s outdoor terrace and said pub goers had arrived fitted out in “hats, scarfs, ski jackets” to enjoy a meal and drink. 

Other operators bemoaned the cold weather on social media but said they were determined to persevere with reopening outdoors for customers desperate for a pint.

Founder of Oakman Inns, Peter Borg-Neal shared his frustration that pubs were only able to reopen for outdoor service on social media.

He said: "My customers are getting cold because it is illegal to sit, socially distanced,inside an air conditioned pub or restaurant but it’s okay to mill around a shop, catch a tube or do many other less safe activities.

"The Government is behaving in a discriminatory and illogical fashion."

Gyms, hairdressers and non-essential retail can reopen indoors from today alongside beer gardens.

Night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester Sacha Lord and Punch founder Hugh Osmond are currently preparing to take the Government to High Court over its reopening plan for indoor hospitality.

They have argued it is unfair to prohibit indoor hospitality from reopening at the same time as other sectors and called for more evidence to justify the roadmap out of lockdown.

Pubs can serve customers sitting in external structures but these must have at least half of the area of the walls open at all times while in use. This applies to shelters, marquees and other kinds of coverings.

Just over half of the British Institute of Innkeeping's member venues are able to open outdoors, the organisation said. 

It comes as pub company bosses have urged the Prime Minister to stick to the roadmap's aim of lifting all restrictions on social contact from 21 June.

  • Has your reopening been impacted by cold weather? Get in touch and let us know how you have found trade today on rzvyl.unjxvaf@jeoz.pbz​ or join the social media conversation via @morningad

Related topics: Events & Occasions

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