Coronavirus lockdown: When could pubs and hairdressers reopen?

11 May 2020, 16:17

File photos: Pubs and hairdressers remain closed across Britain
File photos: Pubs and hairdressers remain closed across Britain. Picture: PA

By Ewan Somerville

The Government has revealed its “roadmap” to fire up the economy again as Britain enters the eighth week of lockdown.

In England, millions of workers are being asked to return to work, the public will get to socialise with one other person in parks while following social distancing rules, and can take car journeys.

But the rules differ in Scotland, where First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said the previous "Stay Home" rules remain in place.

A new document published by Number 10 this lunchtime, seeking to clear up confusion following Boris Johnson’s speech, urges “smarter” restrictions but says a vaccine could never be found.

But when could pubs and hairdressers reopen? Here’s what we know.

Boris Johnson's coronavirus lockdown speech

When could pubs and hairdressers open again?

The Government, in moving from its “stay at home’ strategy to “stay alert”, has set out a three-stage plan for lifting lockdown.

Step one, which begins on Wednesday, sees unlimited amounts of people allowed to exercise as long as they stay at least six feet apart.

Workers who cannot work from home are being urged to return, more key workers are asked to send their children back to school, and face masks are urged.

In step two, by June 1, the Government hopes to reopen schools to reopen to Reception, Year 1, Year 6 and some Year 10 and Year 12 pupils.

First day of deconfinement in France. Hairdressers are overwhelmed with customers in Lyon
First day of deconfinement in France. Hairdressers are overwhelmed with customers in Lyon. Picture: PA

This stage also hopes to see non-essential retail stores beginning to reopen and some cultural and sporting events taking place without crowds.

However, step three - which the Government says will begin on July 4 at the earliest - is when pubs and hairdressers will get to start opening their doors, but only with social distancing.

In this stage, beauty salons, some restaurants and hotels, churches and cinemas could also get to start reopening with social distancing.

But the document warns: "Some venues which are, by design, crowded and where it may prove difficult to enact distancing may still not be able to re-open safely at this point, or may be able to open safely only in part.

"Nevertheless the Government will wish to open as many businesses and public places as the data and information at the time allows."

A boarded-up pub in Camden, north London
A boarded-up pub in Camden, north London. Picture: PA

What could it look like when pubs and hairdressers reopen?

It is not clear how hairdressers will be able to keep two metres apart, but the Government says that reopening will be phased and piloted to ensure things work.

One option for pubs is to only open terraces, given scientific evidence has suggested that Covid-19 spreads less rapidly outdoors.

This is what has happened in Spain, which is gradually lifting its lockdown from today, allowing bars with terraces to reopen.

Listen & subscribe: Global Player | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

But restaurants are not allowed to open until June 10 at the earliest.

On April 29, a Government adviser even floated that Brits may be limited to two or three drinks when pubs reopen to ensure they do not stick around for too long.

The timetable for reopening pubs could be further complicated by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA)’s demand that pubs be given three weeks notice before opening to deal with furloughed staff and depleted stock.