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Pubs with beer gardens likely to be first to reopen when restrictions eased

Pubs, restaurants, theatres, clubs and cinemas have been closed for more than two months.

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Customers wait to pay of their take away beers at The Crabtree pub in Fulham (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Customers wait to pay of their take away beers at The Crabtree pub in Fulham (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Customers wait to pay of their take away beers at The Crabtree pub in Fulham (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Pubs with beer gardens are likely to be among the first venues in the hospitality sector to reopen when coronavirus restrictions are eased, the Environment Secretary has confirmed.

George Eustice said there would be no changes until “at least” July when he expected pubs and restaurants with outdoor areas would be the only ones able to welcome customers again.

Pubs, restaurants, theatres, clubs and cinemas have been closed for more than two months after the Prime Minister announced last orders on March 20.

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Pubs closed on on March 20 (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Pubs closed on on March 20 (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

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Pubs closed on on March 20 (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Coronavirus infection rates are believed to be lower in outside spaces, and Mr Eustice signalled that venues with gardens would be the first to reopen.

He told Sky News: “The sectors that are going to have the greatest challenge getting back to work, which we recognise, and I’m sure the Chancellor recognises this too – the hospitality sector and some of those other ticketed venues, in particular cinemas and in particular theatres, restaurants and pubs, will also face a challenge getting back into operation.

“And that is why we won’t be loosening the restrictions on them until at least July and even then it is likely that in the case of pubs and restaurants it will begin with beer gardens and outdoor areas only.”

PA