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.
morning Boris ❤️ pic.twitter.com/2OFpUgEzxN— Tim Foster (@YummyTim) April 12, 2021
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.
So we’ve got snow in Otley, the day before the Government allows outdoor only opening of #pubs that have been unable to trade for months! ♂️— Greg Mulholland, The Pub Champion (@ThePubChampion) April 11, 2021
Oh well, I’ll get the thermals out..! ❄️ pic.twitter.com/lAo7suVx1a
We are cursed.; it is freezing, snow on the ground , icy winds & we are reopening all our pubs @White_Brasserie and some of our @brasserieblanc .Thank God , we have state of the art heated marquis with bars & cocktails .We are fully booked ...but will our guests get out of bed pic.twitter.com/qnoqn8C9sl— Raymond Blanc (@raymond_blanc) April 12, 2021
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."
My customers are getting cold because it is illegal to sit, socially distanced,inside an air conditioned pub or restaurant but it’s ok to mill around a shop, catch a tube or do many other less safe activities.— Peter Borg-Neal (@PeterBorgNeal) April 12, 2021
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.