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Gloucestershire Business News

Last orders on drinking at the bar under guidelines

Drinking at the bar could be stopped under proposals put forward to enable pubs to reopen after coronavirus restrictions are eased.

Other recommendations put forward by the trade group UKHospitality include patrols in smoking areas, no returning empty glasses and limiting the number of children in outdoor play area.

Proposals for a potential July reopening also including restaurant tables being spaced out with cutlery and individually wrapped sachets of condiments provided with each meal.

Pubs, restaurants and hotels shut their doors in late March and are expected to be one of the last business sectors to return with Prime Minister Boris Johnson proposing July 4 as the earliest possible date.

Huge numbers of hospitality staff are on furlough under the Government's Job Retention Scheme.

The UKH guidance proposes "restrictions on customers remaining at the bar after ordering and getting their drink" with socially distanced queues and staying away from staff.

UKH chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "UKH is working hard with our members and alongside other industry bodies to develop practical and effective guidelines to enable businesses to begin to reopen safely when the time is right.

"These are draft guidelines that have been shared with governments in England, Scotland and Wales to help inform their thinking around reopening.

"We hope that the guidelines will help businesses draw up their own plans based on their premises, ensuring safety is at the forefront of operations when the right time comes to reopen."

Pubs and restaurants have warned they face an uncertain future as one of the first industries forced to close and one of the last to reopen with potential restrictions on numbers and how they operate.

One of five Government task forces set up to help business back to work will be concentrating on pubs and restaurants.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: "We believe that pubs should only open when safe to do so, but without additional support now - particularly for those who won't be able to reopen sooner - many more of our nation's pubs and the brewers that supply them with beer will struggle to survive closure and beyond.

"We'll therefore continue to press the Government for the ongoing support our sector needs."

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