UK heatwave: pubs shut doors due to ‘dangerous’ temperatures

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Safety first: Soaring temperatures see pubs close (Getty/ Gary Yeowell)
Safety first: Soaring temperatures see pubs close (Getty/ Gary Yeowell)

Related tags Freehouse Property

Pubs have shut up shop to keep staff safe under “dangerous” weather conditions, as the UK braces itself for the hottest day on record.

Highs of up to 42°C are forecasted today (Tuesday 19 July), after last night marked the UK’s warmest night ever recorded with temperatures not falling below 25°C in some places.

The Rat Inn, Anick, Northumberland opted to close yesterday (Monday 18 July) and today due to dangerous temperatures in its kitchen which made it “unsafe” to work.

In an Instagram post, the pub apologised for everyone disappointed, and hoped to reopen on Wednesday. All bookings had been contacted by phone and email.

North London-based pub the Drapers Arms in Islington also shut its doors yesterday and was monitoring the situation for future days.

In a statement on Instagram, the pub said: “We are going to be closed on Monday for staff welfare. On Tuesday we have a committed booking to honour but will be working with a cold kitchen.

“I.e I have insisted that the chefs have no hot equipment so think cold meats and fish dishes, light fresh food. We also limit numbers to control heat.”

Sweltering conditions

Multiple places in the UK have already recorded temperatures above 30°C this morning – much higher than this time yesterday. By 9am it was 32.4°C in Kew Gardens London and 31.2°C in Gwynedd, Wales, for instance.

The UK’s first ever red warning for heat is in place across much of England, meaning there is a danger to life, and people are being urged to stay cool and hydrated.

The Kilpin Beer Café and Junkyard in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire joined the ranks of those closing due to the heatwave as felt it would be in the best interests of staff not to have to work in the conditions. The site would be back open as normal on Wednesday.

Among those shutting was Cross Keys. Ombersley, Worcestershire which shut on Sunday 17 July and will stay closed until Tuesday 19 July, with plans to reopen at midday on Wednesday.

“Having monitored the situation closely we believe we have taken the only decision we could as a responsible employer,” the pub said in a Facebook post.

Keeping staff safe

It continued: “The temperature inside the pub, especially the kitchen and the conservatory, means it would be unacceptable to ask my staff to work in those extreme conditions.

“We’re contacting all our bookings and apologise for any inconvenience but are pretty sure you all understand.

“Please be careful over the next few days and we’ll see you from next Wednesday.”

The Met Office has estimated that the extreme heat of the last few days has been made 10 times more likely due to climate change.

The UK heatwave reflects a global situation. The world is in its hottest period for 125,000 years according to the UN’s climate science body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and this is caused by greenhouse gas emissions and industrialisation.

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