‘We hope it’s enough to save our industry’ - pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas to reopen

Prime Minister Boris Johnson giving a statement in the House of Commons, London, on the reduction of

Prime Minister Boris Johnson giving a statement in the House of Commons, London, on the reduction of further lockdown measures. Picture House of Commons/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

The prime minister has announced easing of lockdown for vital businesses, warning caution will remain key.

Ian Stamp, CAMRA chairman. Pic: Archant

Ian Stamp, CAMRA chairman. Pic: Archant - Credit: Archant

Boris Johnson spoke in the House of Commons on Tuesday afternoon to lift the social distancing of the two metre rule to “one metre-plus” from July 4.

He said the measures were the “beginning of lifting the country out of hibernation” - but with caution.

His easing of restrictions included allowing pubs and restaurants to reopen but with table service and minimum contact between staff and customers.

The news was welcomed by people in the Norfolk industry - but there was caution over whether it was enough to stave off closures.

And chairman of the Norwich & District branch of CAMRA, Ian Stamp, called for clarification over the prime minister’s guidelines that will come in on July 4.

Mr Stamp said he was concerned at the idea of publicans having to take customers’ contact details.

“It’s all a bit awkward, having to take someone’s details and then where are those details going to be kept? There is the problem of GDPR. It’s all very well for the prime minister to say this but it does need to be thought out.”

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Mr Stamp also welcomed the change in the social distance, which he said would help many pubs to reopen and also the fact people could sit in a pub with someone from another household.

But he said time would tell whether the measures were enough to keep some pubs from closing.

Publican Chris Isgate, from the Duke of Wellington in Norwich, said: “We hope it’s enough to save our industry. We are ready to reopen on July 4 and a lot of my regular customers have said they’ll be coming back.

“We do need to see the details but we are very happy to be able to reopen.”

Brewery firm Greene King, based in Suffolk, said the reopening was “a welcome relief”.

Neil Mckenzie, Greene King chief executive, said: “It is great that we finally have the news we’ve all been waiting for.”

The prime minister has also allowed hairdressers to reopen but with the advice that staff should wear visors, and said nail bars would be allowed to reopen “as soon as we can”.

The prime minister also said people were free to stay overnight in “self contained accommodation” and campsites and that outdoor gyms and play areas were also to reopen.

Cinemas, museums, galleries, libraries and social clubs were all also given the green light to open again.

Detailed sector-by-sector guidance will be published for businesses on how to reopen in a Covid-secure manner.

This may include introducing one-way systems, installing Perspex screens, spaced queuing, increased ventilation and staggering staff shift patterns.

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But there were some exceptions, including nightclubs, soft play areas indoor gyms, swimming pools and spas, which for now all have to remain closed. Theatres are unable to resume live performances.

But weddings with a maximum of 30 people will be able to go ahead.

Pubs and other businesses in the hospitality sector had said that they would be unable to survive without the two-metre rule being eased.

The prime minister also eased various measures regarding the meeting of different households, saying from July 4, two households of any size can meet in any setting, inside or out. Outside, the guidance is that households of up to six people can meet.

He said: “From now on, we will ask people to follow guidance on social contact instead of legislation.

“In that spirit, we advise that from July 4, two households of any size should be able to meet in any setting inside or out.”