Trade awaits PM announcement about inside service

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Government briefing: the PM is expected to confirm inside service will be permitted from next Monday (17 May) at a press conference later today (image: Getty/Leonid Andronov)
Government briefing: the PM is expected to confirm inside service will be permitted from next Monday (17 May) at a press conference later today (image: Getty/Leonid Andronov)

Related tags: Legislation, Government, Coronavirus, British beer & pub association, Society of independent brewers

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to announce the next stage of relaxation of coronavirus restrictions including allowing pubs to reopen indoors, later today (Monday 10 May).

Johnson is expected to state data supports the easing of rules at a Downing Street press conference at 5pm.

Today is one week before stage three of the Government’s roadmap, which stated no earlier than Monday 17 May, some restrictions will be eased.

As part of the guidance for England, pubs will not have to serve a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks and no curfew will be in place however, operators will have to use table service only.

Also included in the third stage of the roadmap, other indoor locations such as indoor entertainment venues, the remainder of the accommodation sector and indoor group sports will be permitted.

Other changes highlighted are up to 30 people being able to attend weddings, receptions and wakes as well as funerals however, according to reports, the number of mourners is expected to be limitless as of next week.

Not enough

While pubs have been permitted to provide outdoor service since Monday 12 April, many have been unable to do so.

British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “This is another important step on the road to freedom and the recovery of our sector.

“We know Brits cannot wait to get back inside a warm pub however, inside opening with restrictions is still not enough to secure the survival of pubs.

“We need them to be fully reopened without any restrictions at all from Monday 21 June to survive and trade viably.”

The Society of Independent Brewers boss James Calder said licensees and brewers will be able to let out a sigh of relief when indoor service is confirmed.

Road to recovery

He added: “The majority of pubs do not have the outdoor space to make reopening outdoors commercially viable, meaning most have remained closed.

“Now, as pubs are able to invite customers back inside, the industry is finally able to begin on its road to recovery.

“In the week ahead, beer from local breweries will be making it way to pub cellars as landlords prepare to let customers back inside Britain’s public houses and serve them a pint of fresh, independent beer.

“Thousands of people across the UK have already been sharing photos on social media, of them enjoying a pint of cask beer, which is only available in pubs, using the #CaskIsBack hashtag and now with pubs reopening properly, this can continue to with gusto.”

The next stage of relaxation is set to happen no earlier than Monday 21 June, according to the roadmap, when the Government hopes it will be able to lift all legal limits on social contact, suggesting operators will no longer have to adhere to social distancing in venues.

The Government is expected to announce further details on this one week prior (Monday 14 June).

Related topics: Legislation

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