Local pubs already booked up on July 4 as punters warned you won't get in without a reservation
BEER fans are being urged to book ahead if they want to guarantee themselves a pint when pubs reopen.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has today confirmed that pubs, alongside restaurants and cinemas, can reopen in England from July 4.
They've mostly been closed since lockdown began in March, although some remained open to serve takeaway food and drink, which is permitted.
But some pubs have now warned that customers need to book ahead if they want to guarantee themselves a table, while others say they're fully booked already.
Peach Pubs, an independent chain of 20 pubs across central England, says it's already fully booked for opening weekend at its six largest pubs.
It plans to reopen its remaining 14 pubs by July 11 if it gets the government's go-ahead.
Meanwhile, Peter Borg-Neal, chief executive of Oakman Inns – a collection of 25 pubs around England, says drinkers shouldn't turn up unless they've booked.
According to the Daily Mail, he told BBC's Today programme: "We are very, very foreready for the first day, so we do need to warn people that if they've not got a table then they shouldn't come."
The problem is that due to social distancing rules many pubs will have fewer chairs and tables in order to ensure punters are safely spaced out.
Although Mr Johnson has today confirmed that social distancing measures will be reduced from two metres to one metre where two metres isn't possible.
Others will likely limit the number of people allowed in at any one time and it's expected that pubs will only be able to operate around 60 per cent capacity.
Mr Johnson also today said that all indoor hospitality will be limited to table service and "Covid-19 secure" guidance will encourage minimal staff and customer contact.
Greene King, for example, told The Sun you can pre-book a table for drinks or food, or both, through its app.
You can still turn up at any of its 1,700 UK pubs without doing this – but if you don’t pre-book, you’ll likely have to queue outside while you wait for a table.
It appears some Mitchells & Butlers and Stonegate pubs are also already taking bookings for July 4 onwards.
All Bar One and O'Neill's are big names under the Mitchells & Butlers parent company, while Stonegate runs Slug and Lettuce and Yates's among others.
The Sun has asked if they've already fully booked at some venues and we'll update this story as soon as we get a response.
Wetherspoon isn't currently offering pre-bookings for when it reopens but it has kitted out pubs with safety screens, posters and floor markings.
It hopes to reopen 730 out of its 875 locations from July 4.
Here's our round-up of what pubs will look like when they reopen with table service and sneeze screens in place.
Mr Hancock has also confirmed that bars and restaurants will have to keep a record of everyone who visits before being served to help track and trace coronavirus outbreaks.
Personal details are kept on file for four weeks there and are used to contact people if one of the patrons later is hit with coronavirus.
Just bear in mind the rules on pubs and other venues reopening differs in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
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