Environmental Secretary George Eustice today confirmed that outdoor dining and drinking pubs and restaurants are likely the first places to reopen.
The hospitality industry will not open until July 4, although Boris Jonson has said he would like to push that date forward.
He asked the scientists to see if the two-meter social distance rule could be changed, allowing pubs to open earlier.
And pubs themselves have come up with plans for reopening – everything from screens between seats and app service to one-way systems, disposable menus and hand gel stations.
Mr. Eustice told Sky News: “The sectors that will face the greatest challenge of returning to work that we recognize, and I am sure the Chancellor recognizes this too – the hospitality industry and some of those other ticket locations, cinemas in particular, and especially theaters, restaurants and pubs, will also be challenged to be put back into operation.
“And that’s why we won’t be reducing restrictions on them for July at least, and even then it’s likely that in the case of pubs and restaurants it will only start with beer gardens and outdoor areas.”
But if beer gardens are likely to be the first to reopen, where should you go?
UK pubs have closed since late March, but last summer, the Campaign for Real Akle released its 10 best beer gardens in the country.
CAMRA members from across the country shared their recommended beer gardens as part of the Summer of Pub campaign.
At the time, Ben Wilkinson, the national director of CAMRA, said, “A good beer garden is the ideal setting to catch up with old friends or make new ones this summer. We know from academic research that people with a local pub have more close friends and are closer to their community – something we can all raise a glass to! ”
CAMRA’s 2019 recommendations include:
- Blacksmith Arms, Bromley – a historic and picturesque pub on high grounds amid beautiful countryside. It also has a beautiful garden that reflects the landlady’s enthusiasm and is the only pub in the Yellow Gardens Scheme 2015 Yellow Book.
- Castle Tavern, Inverness – great view of the castle and the river, a lovely place to spend the day.
- Dirty duck, Holywood – an excellent beer garden with a beautiful view of the harbor and in the summer a breakout bar in the beer garden.
- Druidstone, Haverfordwest, Wales – a stone building set in 20 acres of wild garden on a cliff above the sandy beach at Druidston Haven.
- Leggers Inn, Dewsbury – a family friendly pub and restaurant in the beautiful canal side location of Savile Town Wharf in West Yorkshire.
- New Inn, Wiltshire – a traditional thatched inn in the heart of Kilmington with a lovely large beer garden.
- Old Red Lion at Great Brickhill, Milton Keynes – a family-run country pub recently refurbished with a beautiful beer garden with truly spectacular views over the Buckinghamshire countryside.
- Sun at Coniston, Lake District – superbly located under the mountain of Coniston Old Man and with picturesque views over the village of Coniston.
- Three Horse Shoes, Leek – situated on the edge of Staffordshire Peak Park, it is ideally situated with beautiful gardens, patios and stunning views over the surrounding countryside.
- Woodman Inn, Durham – known in the region for having probably one of County Durham’s best beer gardens, this is a wonderful and generally quiet place to relax with friends over a drink in good weather.