Monday 18 May 2020 4:56 pm

UK pubs call for social distancing to be reduced to one metre

The UK pub industry has called on the government to allow venues to reopen with one metre social distancing measures in place, rather than the two metres currently required.

The government said that some hospitality venues, including pubs, could reopen from 4 July at the earliest, with social distancing measures. The current government advice is to maintain a two metre distance from other people to prevent the spread of coronavirus. 

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However, the British Beer & Pub Association said that it will be “impossible” for some UK pubs to enforce two metre social distancing, meaning they will stay closed for much longer. 

The World Health Organisation currently recommends that individuals keep a distance of at least one metre. 

More UK pubs could reopen from July if this measure is used, the BBPA said. 

BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “Re-opening in July will be great for those pubs who can meet the social-distancing measures required by then.

“However, it must be recognised that no two pubs are the same and for many, ensuring a distance of two metres will be impossible, keeping them closed for much longer. 

“Actioning advice from the WHO for example to use one metre for social distancing from July would enable many more pubs to viably re-open and serve their communities again.

“We stand ready to work with the Government to help pubs re-open in a safe and financially viable way as soon as possible.”

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The BBPA has previously warned that thousands of pubs could struggle to survive the UK lockdown without extra financial assistance.

“If pubs are going to be the last to re-open, then it’s only right the government gives extra support to them to help ensure their survival,” McClarkin said earlier this month.

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