It’s been a long time coming – and finally the UK’s restaurants are allowed to reopen their doors for business. Following several months of lockdown, the UK has been easing certain lockdown restrictions over a matter of weeks, and the Prime Minister has finally announced the reopening of businesses across the hospitality sector.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced pubs and restaurants, along with a slew of other businesses, can reopen on July 4.
Mr Johnson said this is the beginning of the end of “our long national hibernation”.
He said: “Our principle is to trust the British public to use their common sense in the full knowledge of the risks – remembering that the more we open up, the more vigilant we will need to be.”
Restaurants in England must reopen in a “covid secure” way, which will involve more hand washing, disposable menus and table service only.
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It is also expected that many will have mandatory hand sanitisation stations and require diners to sanitise their hands on entry.
Guidelines also recommend a one-way system for places which cannot create a distance between people.
Venues will be expected to keep a register of visitors’ contact details in case they are needed for test and tracing in the event of an outbreak.
Even with the relaxation of the two-metre rule, the number of people allowed in enclosed spaces will be reduced.
Staggering entry times has also been suggested in order to reduce the numbers.
Alongside restaurants, much of the rest of the hospitality industry will be able to reopen, including pubs, bars, cafes and hotels.
So July 4 has been dubbed ‘Super Saturday’, with Britons expected to visit pubs and restaurants after months of lockdown.
Ahead of the reopening, the Prime Minister has taken part in a Downing Street press briefing alongside Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance.
The Prime Minister said the businesses’ success is dependent on “every single one of us acting responsibly – we must not let them down”.
And he warned the virus is “still with us”, adding: “We are not out of the woods yet.”
“Anyone who flouts social distancing and covid secure rules is not only putting us all at risk but letting down those businesses and workers who have done so much to prepare for this new normal.”
“As we take this next step, our biggest step yet, on the road to recovery I urge the British people to do so safely.”