As the UK looks to emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown, business leaders have been calling upon the Government to set out its plan for how we might return to some sense of normality. Unsurprisingly, the hospitality industry has been amongst the most vocal, given numerous concerns over the practicalities of reopening venues under social distancing guidelines.
Last week, the Government published its initial recovery strategy: a 51-page document supposedly setting out the steps to rebuild the UK. However, this still only gives a sense of a plan as to how the hospitality industry might be expected to reopen. Indications are that a phased approach to reopening venues is likely, with priority given to those best suited to operating under social distancing rules, such as café's with open outdoor space, perhaps followed by restaurants, and then, in time, pubs. The timing remains uncertain as scientists continue to monitor the spread of the virus, but the initial lifting of restrictions on the hospitality sector will be no earlier than 4 July 2020.
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