Government minister confirms pubs with beer gardens will likely reopen first

Lucy Smith

A government minister has confirmed to today that pubs with beer gardens and outdoor drinking areas will most likely be the first given the green light to reopen.

Environment Secretary, George Eustice, has said that drinking establishments and hospitality businesses with outdoor spaces could be allowed to start using them again in just a matter of weeks.

The government has previously stated that pubs would not be allowed to reopen before 4th July at the earliest.

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Eustice said: “The sectors that are going to have the greatest challenge getting back to work, which we recognise, and I’m sure the Chancellor recognises this too – the hospitality sector and some of those other ticketed venues, in particular cinemas and in particular theatres, restaurants and pubs, will also face a challenge getting back in to operation.”

“And that is why we won’t be loosening the restrictions on them until at least July and even then it is likely that in the case of pubs and restaurants it will begin with beer gardens and outdoor areas only.”

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No set date for when hospitality establishments will be allowed to open has yet been confirmed.

It is also believed that the devolved governments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will likely be able to set their own rules and timings for which venues can reopen.

Many hospitality companies, pub chains and independent establishments have already began the process of drawing up potential reopening plans and illustrating what customers may come to expect upon their first visit.

Outdoor window-serving hatches, disposable cups/glasses, one-way systems, seating surrounding by screens and strict sanitising procedures have all been suggested by some establishments as potential measures going forward on the grounds of reopening, but the government is yet to offer concrete guidance on this matter.

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