Pub association chief: Face masks and pre-booking may not be needed for reopening

23 June 2020, 18:35 | Updated: 23 June 2020, 18:38

By Seán Hickey

The CEO of the British Beer and Pub Association confirmed that punters will still be able to go to the pub without pre-booking.

The government today announced that pubs, restaurants and other indoor businesses will be allowed to reopen from July 4th. The news was welcomed by the pub industry with open arms, with thousands of businesses across the country itching to open their doors.

Pubs will be subject to new "one metre plus" rules where two metre social distancing is not workable. Eddie Mair argued that this may not be the pub experience many will want.

"For most of us unfortunately our lives will be changing in one form or another and the pub is no different to that" said Emma McClarkin, the CEO of the British Beer and Pub Association, who was delighted at the news that pubs can reopen with restrictions in place.

She told Eddie that under two metre distancing it would have only been one third of pubs that could reopen but with the new rules "over 75% of pubs can actually get back open again."

Pubs in England will be allowed to reopen on July 4th
Pubs in England will be allowed to reopen on July 4th. Picture: PA

Ms McClarkin went on to reveal that she doesn't "expect to see mandatory face mask wearing inside of pubs but that may be in the detail that is released later."

She also has confirmation from the government that "you don't have to pre book" when planning to go to the pub, but there may be a possibility that details may be taken upon arrival for tracing purposes.

She told Eddie that for the association is "waiting for the guidance to be released in its final format" before it can clarify if details will have to be given by punters when arriving in the pub, but stated that "if it is necessary for us to be open to do that then we will look at that."

"What is important to us is that our customers feel confident to come back and I think going back to the pub is kind of a symbol of freedom, going back to the life they had before and reconnecting with their communities."

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