Pubs and restaurants might be allowed to reopen after Easter in April but only if they agree not to sell alcohol.
Another report suggests pubs and restaurants might not completely reopen, with alcohol sales, until May, though takeaway pints will be allowed before then as the COVID 19 lockdown is eased.
Boris Johnson has cautioned that it’s still early days to begin talking about opening up society, and he’s committed to setting out a road map later this month for easing restrictions.
He encounters pressure from Conservative MPs to ease the current lockdown once the most vulnerable have been vaccinated, and Downing Street has confirmed that the vaccine programme planned to reach all those aged 50 and over, as well as adults aged 16-65 in an at-risk group, by May.
Ministers are said to be considering options to allow broad relaxation of restrictions after Easter, including the reopening of pubs and restaurants, and a temporary alcohol embargo, which will mean that pubs and restaurants will be dry. That’s one proposal being considered as part of the three-phase road map to be announced on February 22.
The alcohol ban is being considered to alleviate concerns from England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and others.
They are said to be concerned about punter’s ability to social distance when drinking, but a senior Government source was dismissive about the idea, saying that they’re not going to open pubs that can’t sell alcohol because there would be no point of that.
The report said the three-phase road map in England would allow some outdoor socialising in March, in addition to the reopening of schools from March 8.
The devolved administrations in Wales and Scotland have both announced that some primary schools year groups will return by February 22, and a news outlet reported that ministers were planning to allow pubs to serve takeaway pints in April before completely reopening in May.
Restrictions such as the 10 pm curfew and substantial meal requirement will be scrapped as part of the simplification of rules to alleviate confusion, it was suggested.
Punters will be encouraged to drink outside, and it’s been suggested that, with falling case numbers, lockdown easing could pave the way for outdoor team and individual sports to resume, as well as outdoor gatherings, within weeks of schools returning in March.
In a video posted on Twitter on Friday, Boris Johnson repeated his promise to announce a steady programme for beginning to unlock in just over two weeks but cautioned it was still early days and asked the public to continue following lockdown rules.
This is ridiculous, what’s the point of going to a pub that sells no booze, what are they going to serve? Water perhaps! Can you imagine everyone sitting around with a glass of iced water, and who on earth comes up with little gems like this?
The fact is, pubs should be the last thing to reopen, they’re not a necessity and they’re not essential. If people want to have a drink, go down the local off licence and buy some and drink it at home. At least that way they’re safe and they can sit in the comfort of their own home watching the football.
So everyone sits around with a glass of ice water ….who is the ning nong coming up with little gems like this , what difference does it make if you have an alcoholic drink .all you need is good hygiene management, and physical distancing rules , and you are keeping people safe .