It has felt a lifetime since hospitality owners were forced to close their doors amid a third national lockdown imposed on England to control the spread of coronavirus, now approaching the start of March the prime minister has now revealed the exit strategy following the next few months to get us back on track.
Boris Johnson has confirmed that pubs and restaurants will be able to reopen their doors for dine-in guests from 17 May at the earliest under a four-stage plan for lifting lockdown restrictions.
The government has also hinted that outdoor hospitality settings such as beer gardens could reopen much earlier with dates suggested for 12 April.
The four-stage plan will start from 8 March with the reopening of schools and also two households mixing outdoor settings being allowed the same day. Then as we approach to stage two we will see non-essential retail and indoor leisure return as well as outdoor hospitality.
Restrictions will be rolled out nationally rather than the regional tiers previously introduced, with which we will also see the hospitality curfew and ‘substantial meal’ scrapped. Although at this stage we will still see the ‘rule of six’ remain across settings.
From 17 May, we will see England enter the third stage which will mean hospitality can begin trading in indoor settings such as pubs, restaurants and hotels with social distancing rules. The ‘rule of six’ will be replaced with a limit of 30 people in an outdoor setting.
Then finally as we enter June, we will see a return of the nightclubs finally return on 21 June after a year of being closed. We expect to see an end to legal limits on mixing at this stage of the lockdown exit strategy.
Whilst this is a good announcement for hospitality finally given clarity on when a business can resume with an efficient amount of time to prepare. The industry has expressed its disappointment with final reopening dates not until may, given April was seen as the most sufficient time in order for businesses to survive.
Operators have said further financial support in next week’s budget will be critical in keeping the hospitality industry on track and avoid economic and social damage that will last a generation.
Now is a crucial time to get your business in order and ready for reopening. With Hopsy we are able to organise all of your operations in one place, full compliance and complete oversight across all your venues - you'll know everything is done to standard and have your business running exactly how it should.
Book a demo with our customer success manager and find out how Hopsy can help your business with the transition out of the final lockdown.