Pubs and restaurants could reopen this summer, Boris Johnson says in coronavirus lockdown speech

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Pubs, bars and restaurants may be able to reopen in July as part of a gradual easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions, Boris Johnson has announced.

The move was described as “step three” of the government’s roadmap for the lifting of the current lockdown, revealed by the prime minister in a televised speech on Sunday evening.

The measure will follow the return to work of people who can’t work from home, including construction and manufacturing, from Monday, and a possible phased reopening of schools from June.

“Step three – at the earliest by July – and subject to all these conditions and further scientific advice; if and only if the numbers support it, we will hope to reopen at least some of the hospitality industry and other public places, provided they are safe and enforce social distancing,” said Johnson.

In this photo issued by 10 Downing Street on Sunday, May 10, 2020, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers an address on lifting the country's lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic.  Johnson announced a modest easing of the country’s coronavirus lockdown and outlined his government’s road map for further lifting restrictions in the coming months. In a televised address to the nation, Johnson said people in Britain who can’t work from home, such as those in construction or manufacturing jobs, “should be actively encouraged to go to work” this week. (Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street via AP)
Boris Johnson revealed how he hopes to lift the coronavirus lockdown in a speech on Sunday evening. (Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street via AP)

The PM emphasised that any changes to current restrictions would be conditional on COVID-19 infection rates dropping, adding: “Throughout this period of the next two months we will be driven not by mere hope or economic necessity.”

A closed New Moon pub in Leadenhall Market, in the City of London, the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. PA Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 24, 2020. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Pubs may be able to open from the start of July, Boris Johnson has announced. (Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire)

Shops could potentially reopen from the start of June if they are able to enforce social distancing, and schools may partially open as early as 1 June, as part of the government’s roadmap.

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Pubs have been closed since March as part of the UK's coronavirus lockdown restrictions. (Picture: PA)
Pubs have been closed since March as part of the UK's coronavirus lockdown restrictions. (Picture: PA)

Pubs in the UK have been closed since March, alongside the rest of the hospitality industry, in a bid to combat the spread of coronavirus.

Last week the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) warned that thousands of UK pubs face the prospect of closure as they wait for a decision on whether they will receive a government backed loan, while some pubs have backed a campaign for landlords to waive rents while they cannot trade.

Just days after the lockdown was put in place, a charity was forced to turn away hospitality workers from a hardship fund it set up after being inundated with pleas for help.

Hospitality Action received more than 30,000 emails in a single day inquiring about its emergency COVID-19 fund for workers in trouble.

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