Lockdown rules set to ease: reactions from UKHospitality, CGA

Social distancing is also cut from 2 metres to 1 metre on 4 July.

The government announced that pubs, hotels, B&Bs, campsites, caravan parks, museums, galleries and theme parks in England can reopen on 4 July, subject to social distancing.

Guidelines in social distancing will also be halved on the said date, from 2 metres to 1 metre.

Scotland’s restaurants and pubs, meanwhile, are to reopen on 15 July.

On the reopening date, UKHospitality called the confirmation a “real boon”, explaining that the move will allow businesses some time to make preparations.

“The Government has given due recognition to how hard hospitality has been hit by this crisis. Our sector was one of the first to be seriously affected and we are going to be one of the last to reopen. Getting venues open again, even with social distancing measures in place, is the best way to secure businesses and jobs,” chief executive Kate Nicholls said in a statement.

“While many venues will endeavour to reopen on 4th July, capacities will be constrained by social distancing and some may be unable to trade viably at all, so continued Government support will remain crucial. Many businesses have been closed for months with no revenue and are now facing substantial rent and PAYE bills. We need financial help from the Government, otherwise some of these businesses are going to go under right at the point at which they are allowed to open once again,” she added.

Nicholls also welcomed the revised social distancing metric, arguing that the two-metre rule would have capped capacity for most venues at around 30%.

“That would have been totally unviable for most businesses and would have risked even more jobs and the futures of venues. Reduction to one-metre should see most venues able to trade at around 70% of capacity, which could be the difference between failure and staying alive to see out the remainder of the crisis, particularly with added support.”

Out of home food and drink consultancy CGA also welcomed the new rules, projecting pubs, cafés, bars, hotels and restaurants to be able to sell 145 million additional pints of beer, compared with what would have been sold with a 2 metre social distancing.

"As well as the difference in sales, more outlets are likely to open in July, as their businesses become viable at 70% capacity,” said Jonny Jones, CGA's director of client services.

"Our data suggests there is enough pent-up demand to max out sales at this level of supply, but many consumers are still cautious about returning to the trade and want to see precautions put in place to ensure their safety. It's now down to operators to market their credentials as Covid-19 safe, and ensure that customers feel comfortable to visit their outlets."

These figures also are based on CGA’s longstanding on premise measurement service, which measures all drinks sales sold in licensed venues.

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