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

5d ago

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...

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 - 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.

How's the Covid situation where you are in the world right now?

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Comments (19)

  • So what you’re saying is...

      5 days ago
  • Here in Texas restaurants have remained open though I believe they’re at 50% capacity for indoor dining. Takeout has always remained open. Bars closed for a long time but recently reopened in my county I believe a few months ago. We have had this thing here since this whole thing started where takeaway can serve alcohol in an effort to keep bartenders employed. So when you order your tacos, you can also order margaritas to go.

      5 days ago
  • :(

      5 days ago
  • Same out here too, a lot of small businesses and restaurants are closing. Sonic, the fast food restaurant out here has closed in all of Pennsylvania. Bankruptcy I hear. I believe some of the bars are closing down also. It’s a shame 😞

      5 days ago
    • Eugh I just hate it. I feel like I'm meant to be feeling really happy about things opening up/a plan being in place, but at least three more months of not being able to go to a restaurant or bar or pub or hug my friends (longer on that one) is balls....

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        5 days ago
    • Right? I know you guys have it horrible out there. 😞 Have you all had the vaccine yet? I got a shot yesterday

        5 days ago
  • Damn. I really feel for everyone in the UK - but take it from me, that eventual beer tastes so beautiful. And that pub song you used to hate? Beautiful.

      5 days ago