More pubs could reopen if social distancing relaxed to 1m

PUBLISHED: 19:57 28 May 2020 | UPDATED: 19:57 28 May 2020

Industry bosses say three quarters of pubs could reopen if social distancing was 1m. Picture: PA Wire

Industry bosses say three quarters of pubs could reopen if social distancing was 1m. Picture: PA Wire

PA Wire/PA Images

More than three-quarters of pubs could reopen if social distancing rules were relaxed to one metre, the boss of a large trade body has said.

On Wednesday, Boris Johnson said restaurants, hotels and bars could potentially reopen earlier than planned after he asked scientists to review the two-metre rule.

Under current plans, pubs, hotels and restaurants remain closed until at least July 4.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), whose organisation represents about 20,000 UK pubs and the majority of brewers, told the PA news agency the required distance should be reduced to at least one metre, as in several European countries and advised by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

You may also want to watch:

She said: “We’re not asking unless it’s safe to do.

“Pubs are currently on a very highly tuned Government life-support machine.

“The longer they remain on it, and with all the other medicines they have to pay for, some won’t survive.

“Once pubs close they are very, very hard to resuscitate.”

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, added that the reduction would also make businesses more viable, warning that if the government did not support the hospitality sector then one in three venues could close for good and one million jobs could be cut across the supply chain.

She said: “If you have two metres social distancing that’s the difference between opening at 30pc of normal revenues or 60pc with one metre social distancing.”

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Related articles

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest from the Eastern Daily Press