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Johnson's two-metre review delays hospitality reopening date confirmation and guidelines

18 June 2020 by
Johnson's two-metre review delays hospitality reopening date confirmation and guidelines

Prime minister Boris Johnson's review of the two-metre physical distancing guidelines has delayed both the publication of hospitality reopening guidance and confirmation of the sector's 4 July reopening date, according to City AM.

The publication reports that operating guidelines for England's hospitality sector have been drawn up by the government and are ready to distribute. It also claims the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) told members of its hospitality taskforce that it would announce on Monday or Tuesday this week that the lockdown would be eased for the sector on 4 July.

A government spokesperson said: "We want to be able to reopen pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes as soon as possible and it remains our ambition to do so from the beginning of July, but it must be safe so we do not risk a second wave of this virus.

"We are working with the sector at pace to develop guidance on how these businesses can reopen safely, and this will be published ahead of time to allow them to prepare."

Industry bodies have been calling for guidance as well as a definitive date for opening this week, with the prospective date of 4 July now just 16 days away.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said earlier this week that businesses need time to prepare, particularly hotels and tourism, where 60% of bookings are made more than two weeks in advance.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), meanwhile, has said pubs need concrete information to release staff from furlough, ensure beer supplies are ready and to invest in safety procedures. Without assurances, it is thought thousands of pubs will not be able to reopen as soon as restrictions are lifted.

Photo: Shutterstock

Industry bodies demand government issues definitive opening date and guidance >>

Two-metre distancing rule to be reviewed ahead of hospitality reopening >>

Government confirms 'ambition' to open some hospitality venues, including pubs and hotels, from 4 July >>

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