Covid 19 - What you need to know - How firm is 4th July?
On Monday the Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, reiterated that a further easing of restrictions, including the potential reopening of bars, pubs and restaurants, is to take place on July 4 "at the earliest", adding that it has "got to be done in a safe and responsible way".
Downing Street has also briefed journalists that a review of the two-metre social distancing rule may not be completed in time for the 4th July.
A lack of clarity in these vital areas is causing increasing anxiety amongst the trade. Over the past few weeks we have noted a dramatic increase in telephone queries about 4th July and what re-opening will look like.
A final version of sector specific guidance (which has been published for other re-opened /opening areas) is still awaited; although Government briefings of what may be included are being reported in the industry press.
Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:
“Our 47,000 pubs and 2,000 brewers are now in urgent need of a definitive date on when pubs can reopen. We have consistently and clearly asked Government for at least three weeks’ notice to ensure our pubs can bring staff out of furlough, prepare and reconfigure themselves to adhere to safety guidelines, and ensure they have fresh draught beer ready to serve customers. The deadline for notice the Government needed to give us to be ready to reopen on 4th July, as referenced in its own roadmap, passed on Saturday. As of today we have no finalised safety guidelines and no definitive date for reopening – we need both today if pubs are to reopen on 4th July.”
We continue to monitor the situation.
We shall , as always, keep you updated.