July 4 Opening Hopes Increase As Covid-19 Alert Level Reduced

Hopes of a July 4 opening for the hospitality sector have risen after the Covid-19 alert level was reduced from four to three, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he will unveil his plan for the future of the two-metre rule this week.

A level three alert reflects the virus still being in general circulation, but allows for a gradual relaxation of restrictions.

The prime minister added he is “sticking like glue” to his road map for easing the coronavirus lockdown for the beleaguered hospitality sector from July 4, however

the two-metre social distancing rule in England looks likely to be relaxed after Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the Prime Minister’s review “will make an enormous difference” to businesses.

“The outcome of that review will be announced this week. Obviously that’s something that will make an enormous difference I think to many businesses who are keen to see a change,” he told reporters during a visit to shops in North Yorkshire.

“Obviously we need to go through that review but I’m very understanding of the calls for action on that, particularly for our hospitality industry, for our pubs, for our restaurants, (they) are keen to see if there’s some change that can be made there.”

As part of the Government’s plans to reopen the hospitality sector, guidance drawn up by businesses and ministers is expected to urge pubgoers to order drinks using apps instead of going to the bar, while current legislation was said to include the powers for the patrolling pubs to ensure that guidelines are being followed.

An article in The Times has reported that restaurant tables would not be set in advance and room service would be left outside doors in hotels under the guidance. All hospitality businesses will need to supervise capacity, and the easing of restrictions around al fresco dining is expected to see every restaurant, bar and pub able to utilise and maximise outdoor space.

Restrictions outlined on hotels include the leaving of luggage and room service outside rooms and a requirement to cordon off rooms for 72 hours following departure if a guest were to fall ill and need to self-isolate at the venue.