Pubs could limit drinkers to three pints when lockdown is lifted - here’s why

Wednesday, 29th April 2020, 3:43 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th April 2020, 3:43 pm
The strict rules would also include maintaining a social distance of two metres while inside (Photo: Shutterstock)

With the UK still under lockdown, many will be itching for a return to normality very soon.

While the prospect of shops, leisure facilities and pubs reopening their doors is exciting, there are likely to be many unusual changes still to come - especially when visiting your local.

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What social distancing rules could pubs face?

When pubs reopen for business, patrons could be limited to three drinks each before being asked to head home, in order to free up space for others to visit, a government advisor has suggested.

The strict rules would also include maintaining a social distance of two metres while inside, with landlords able to issue fines to those who flout the rules.

The terms are outlined in a plan by economist and government advisor, Professor Eyal Winter, who said social distancing is the key to coming out of lockdown. He also argued that the public need to know what the government has planned in terms of a lockdown exit strategy.

Speaking to The Guardian, he said, “People are starving for pubs. They are an important part of British culture.

“One of the most important things is to have a programme, to say, ‘In two weeks we will do such and such.’

“You need to make the rules crystal clear, and to explain to the public the rationale behind each one of them.”

When are pubs likely to reopen?

Professor Winter estimated that it will take “a lot of time” to move back to how life was in January 2020, but was certain that the country “will get there”.

The Mail Online has reported that a possible exit plan could see the UK come out of lockdown in phases. The public would allegedly be allowed back into outdoor spaces first, with pubs being the last to open, as the lockdown was lifted.

Cabinet Office minister, Michael Gove, confirmed that areas of hospitality will be among the last to see restrictions lifted.

When asked whether pubs would open “before winter”, Mr Gove told Sky News, “The other inference that I draw from your question, which is that areas of hospitality will be among the last to exit the lockdown - yes, that is true.”

What about cinemas and theatres?

Professor Winter has also been advising ministers on how to go about lifting lockdown, and said cinemas and theatres could also reopen, but must have half empty auditoriums.

Every other seat would have to be unoccupied, but he said venues could make up for the loss of money by raising ticket prices.

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