Government support for pubs, cafes and restaurants
The government has confirmed a further easing of lockdown as pubs, cafes, restaurants, hotels, hairdressers and cinemas have been given permission to reopen in England from 4 July. The launch date has been dubbed as Super Saturday. These changes will see a further move towards the reopening of certain businesses that can operate by following the COVID-19 guidelines.
The only exception to this easing of lockdown will be local areas that experience a surge in new infections. Recently, this restriction was applied to Leicester.
The government has announced specific support measures for pubs, cafes and restaurants. This includes:
- Simpler licensing process for outdoor seating for pubs, restaurants and cafes
- Councils encouraged to reduce red-tape and create more outdoor markets
- Government plans to support outdoor dining as part of efforts to help the economy bounce back from Coronavirus
For example, many pubs and restaurants will be able to use car parks and terraces as dining and drinking areas, using their existing seating licenses. There will also be temporary changes to licensing laws to allow qualifying licensed premises, such as pubs and restaurants, to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises
The government has also reviewed the two meter social distancing guidelines and will relax this to one-metre with risk mitigation. Without this change it would not be financially viable for many businesses to open especially in sectors such as accommodation, food services and recreation. Some sectors such as nightclubs, indoor gyms and other fitness venues, indoor play areas, swimming pools, spas, and casinos remain closed. There has been no indication given as to when these businesses will be able to reopen.