Should pubs open in July?

21 May 2020, 16:31 | Updated: 21 May 2020, 16:32

By Fiona Jones

Should pubs open in July? Beer and Pub Association chief says pubs should open with a one metre social distancing rule, meaning 75-80% of pubs can start serving.

Pubs could open on 4 July, a report by the hospitality industry body suggests. However certain practices, such as drinking at the bar, may be prohibited.

Beer and Pub Association chief Emma McClarkin told Shelagh the key to reopening pubs is to reduce the social distancing requirement from two metres to one metre.

She said: "We've actually told our members and you'll be looking at about 30% that can open under two metres which is a third of all pubs in the United Kingdom.

"Of course when you say you're reopening the economy but you're only opening up one third of any one sector, it's not really reopening the economy."

"We would like to see the government having the discussions about how it means to reduce the social distancing over time. Obviously pubs have been given this glimmer of hope with the date that we have to open of 4 July. But what will the social distancing measures be like by then?"

Ms McClarkin ackowledged the UK will have been through phase two of the coronavirus action plan by then which starts in June. "We open in step three so will there be a relaxation of that under that deadline? That is what we're asking the government to look at."

She said she wants the government to discuss whether "we can get more like 75-80% of pubs open who can actually open under a one metre social distancing measure."

After all, the one metre social distancing measure is suggested in the World Health Organisation guidelines, the chief said.