Coronavirus: UK pubs and restaurants won't reopen indoors until at least May
Beer gardens and outdoor hospitality might be able to open in April
It might not be particularly unexpected, but it’s still a huge blow to the UK hospitality industry.
The UK government has just announced that indoor hospitality aka our beloved pubs, bars and restaurants, won’t reopen until 17 May – at the earliest.
In the latest ‘roadmap’ for easing lockdown restrictions in the UK, while all retail, personal care, libraries, gyms and outdoor hospitality will potentially be able to open from 12 April (at the earliest), pubs and restaurants are once again left behind.
That does however mean that beer gardens may be able to open from 12 April…
ohemgee, drinking a pint, outside, in a beer garden...
Indoor hospitality is currently in step 3 of the government’s plan, which is scheduled for at least five weeks after step 2, and no earlier than 17 May.
Neil Pattison, director at Caterer.com - the UK’s largest hospitality jobs board, said, “Despite their rigour and focus in implementing successful Covid-secure protocols, it is frustrating to see that restaurants and bars will be slow to fully re-open compared to other businesses. Studies have shown that with the right systems in place, hospitality businesses have extremely low transmission rates. The sector is raring to go, leading the way for trading responsibly and introducing procedures which ensure the safety of staff and customers. Equally, customers are keen to return and enjoy hospitality venues, and this will positively impact both the economy and mental wellbeing in the UK. As the vaccine programme continues at pace and data allows, an earlier full reopening should be considered for hospitality venues as outdoor operation is simply not feasible for so many businesses.
“Alongside this, it’s crucial that government support continues to protect jobs in hospitality. It’s clear social distancing will be in place for the foreseeable future, and many businesses will continue to struggle to remain viable as their capacity to serve customers will be reduced.
“The hospitality industry is ready to play a major part in the UK’s economic recovery and we need to work hand-in-hand with government to build trust and confidence, so this vital sector can find its feet again.”
UK Hospitality, the leading hospitality trade association has said that 40% of hospitality businesses are set to fail this year if things don’t change soon. Despite campaigning – and getting the backing MPs from all parties – to get pubs, restaurants & hospitality open for Easter, that won't be happening.
Hopefully there will be some serious support from the government for those working in the hospitality industry or many will be struggling to reopen at all.