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Gloucestershire Business News

Pubs thinking outside the bar for solutions

Beer gardens should be the first venues reopened when pubs begin to emerge from the coronavirus lockdown, according to the industry's trade association.

Around 27,000 of the UK's 47,000 pubs have outdoor space according to the British Beer & Pubs Association, who believes these should be the first to open when restrictions are lifted from early July at the earliest.

Chief executive Emma McClarkin, who is from Stroud, said: "We want to explore all opportunities for our nation's pubs to reopen safely and and viably as is possible.

"We are working with Government to consider all the possible options for reopening pubs as soon as we can in a safe and viable way while meeting the required social distancing restrictions."

She continued: "The 27,000 pubs in the UK with beer gardens will be among the best place to reopen under social distancing conditions and so should be among the first to reopen.

"This would let people enjoy their local community pub's beer garden in the summer sun."

The association is working with the Government as part of a task force into how to help the industry through the crisis.

Among possible options are more flexibility for pubs, restaurants and bars to use outside space other than beer gardens as well as being able to sell food and drinks from stalls outside premises.

Scheduled to be among the last businesses out of lockdown - having been one of the first to close - pubs face an uncertain future with the trade association warning thousands could be forced to shut.

As reported on Punchline-Gloucester.com earlier this week, a report by UK Hospitality outlined major changes for pubs suggesting an end to drinking at bars, no returning glasses and staff preventing beer gardens becoming too crowded.

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