Pubs will remain closed until July 4 – dashing hopes of June 22 reopening
PUBS will remain closed until July 4 dashing hopes beer gardens could reopen in just a few weeks.
There were hopes thirsty Brits could be back in the pub on June 22, but Alok Sharma tonight confirmed we would have to wait a little longer.
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Pub bosses had lobbied for a solid reopening date amid worries beer deliveries wouldn't arrive on time and staff needed at least three weeks to be trained upon new social distancing measures.
There were reports pub could reopen on June 22 to help save the 3.5 million jobs at risk if the hospitality sector goes bust.
But Business Secretary Alok Sharma confirmed tonight the opening date for the sector would not be until July.
He said: "There are businesses which still remain closed.
"As soon as we can, we will publish further guidance for restaurants, pubs and bars as well as hairdressers, barbers, nail bars and related services.
"These documents will provide practical steps to allow them to reopen in a manner that is safe as possible.
"I know there has been a lot of speculation about when we might be able to reopen
"I understand why we are all so keen, I share that.
"We continue to follow the roadmap which sets out our ambition to reopen these sectors from 4 July at the earliest."
The Government is under increasing pressure to relax the 2 metre social distancing rule amid worry the hospitality sector will struggle to recover from the economic crash by allowing just a few people in at a time.
Lots of pubs and restaurants have also said they cannot maintain the 2 metre social distancing rule inside their establishments, meaning a number would have to remain closed.
It's also reported around half of the UK's curry houses would have to stay closed.
Restaurants and pubs are worried they won't be able to keep to the 2m rule, or will risk losing huge amounts of their business.
But Mr Sharma said again today that the rule would not be relaxed until it's safe to do so.
The 2m rule is always "under review" and the science continues to be looked at.
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