It’s official: after much anticipation not to mention anguish and possibly a few tears, bars, pubs and restaurants in England have finally been given the green light to re-open their doors. In his highly anticipated speech earlier today, PM Boris Johnson announced that on July 4th the hard hit hospitality industry will resume trading. TFFT. But it won’t be business as usual.
“National hibernation is coming to an end and a new but cautious optimism is palpable,” he said. What that means in terms of the hospitality industry is a relaxation in the social distancing rule: “remaining at two-metres where possible” but a one-metre-plus will be introduced, which will be a relief for owner/operators across the country.
The PM also stipulated that for now bars, pubs and restaurants will have to offer table service – avoiding face-to-face seating where possible, install protective screens and trade with minimal staff and customer contact. Businesses will also be tasked with collecting customer details for NHS test and trace, improving ventilation and providing hand sanitisers for guests.
It’s not perfect and will definitely take some getting used to but it sure beats no hospitality at all.
Bar owners: for details on how to get your bar ready for July 4th, download the invaluable ‘Getting operational after lockdown: A guide for hospitality operators’ from Access Hospitality, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.