Pubs and restaurants ‘on track’ to reopen from July 4, but you could have to wear a mask or book on app, Hancock says
PUBS, restaurants and hotels are “on track” to reopen from July 4, the Health Secretary confirmed today, but you could have to book a slot on an app or wear a mask.
Matt Hancock said he “wouldn’t rule out” customers having to sign up before they are allowed to set foot in their local boozer – and it may mean sitting back to back or side-by-side too.
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And “face masks and changing the seating arrangements” are also being looked at.
Perspex glass could be put up to protect others in close proximity.
Mr Hancock told the Andrew Marr Show there are “all sorts of mitigations you can put in place to be physically closer than 2m but not have the transmission of the virus that you would otherwise have.”
He added: “In lots of retail, you’ve had perspex screens.
“Masks also make an impact, hence the rule that they must be worn on public transport.
“It wouldn’t make for a very good pub lunch but there are measures that can be put in place.
“We are going to set all of that out this week.”
And Boris said today he was sticking “like glue” to his lockdown lifting plan.
In a Downing Street interview, the Prime Minister said: “Of course, as we make that progress it will be possible to open up more and you will be hearing more about what we want to do with not just non-essential retail but with the hospitality sector from July 4 and we’re sticking absolutely like glue to the road map to the plan that I set out on May 10.”
The Health Secretary also confirmed The Sun’s story today that bars and restaurants will have to keep a record of everyone who visits before being served under new plans.
A guest register will be kept by landlords and managers to help track and trace coronavirus outbreaks, Ministers have discussed.
The idea has been used in New Zealand where each venue must record visitors and carry out regular head counts.
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.
Mr Hancock said: “In New Zealand, you simply ensure that when you take a restaurant booking, you take contact details, that if someone tests positive, and has been in that venue, in proximity, you will be able to contact them.
“It makes it safer. There are lots of ideas out there.”
Mr Hancock was asked today on Sky’s Sophy Ridge: “Could we have to register before we go to a pub?”
And he replied: “Well I wouldn’t rule that out”.
He added: “other countries in the world take that approach.”
And in good news for thirsty Brits hoping for a cold pint in their local in the coming weeks, he confirmed that plan was still “on track”.
Pubs, hotels and other hospitality businesses are scheduled to be able to reopen from July 4.
It’s reported today that UK staycations are also set to be allowed from next month as well, in a much-needed boost for holidays and overnight trips.
Gyms, hairdressers and leisure centres are also in that group.
But the Government have not confirmed that will definitely happen yet.
The Health secretary said: “We are clearly on track for that plan and the plan does refer to hospitality and some of the other things that are closed that lots of people want to see open.”
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