WSTA: reopening date for bars ‘huge relief’

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) said confirmation that the on-trade in England can reopen next week was a “huge relief” but warned many venues will still need government support.

Yesterday (23 June), UK prime minister Boris Johnson confirmed bars, pubs and restaurants in England can reopen, both indoors and outdoors, from 4 July. This will coincide with a relaxation of the two-metre rule to one-metre-plus – although two metres will still be the recommended distance where possible.

However, close-proximity venues such as nightclubs will not be able to reopen until further notice.

Miles Beale, CEO of the WSTA, said the news would also help wine and spirits suppliers who have not been afforded the same access to business rate holidays and loans as pubs and restaurants, despite the sudden loss of income due to lockdown.

Beale added: “It is right that opening up comes with some caution in order to protect the public and ensure that we don’t end up with a second spike putting us back to square one.

“This welcome news does not mean that the hospitality sector and their suppliers are no longer in need of government support. Recovery for the loss of trade over the last few months will mean that some businesses will not be able to open immediately or fully and others will take years to get themselves back on an even keel.”

The UK government has published guidance to help businesses prepare to reopen while guaranteeing the safety of both staff and consumers. To view the UK government guidance on reopening on 4 July, click here.

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Author: Melita Kiely {authorlink}