Slash social distancing to 3ft to allow up to 120% more pubs to reopen, urge UK landlords who say smaller venues without beer gardens will struggle to keep 6ft gap between drinkers
- Brewery bosses claim many pubs are too small to enforce stringent measures
- They say halving recommended distance would mean more pubs can reopen
- Pubs have been shut since March 20 – just before the start of the lockdown
- Bosses have discussed safety tactics such as protective screens and apps
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Pubs in Britain have urged the Government to relax the two-metre (6ft) social distancing rule during the coronavirus pandemic so they can reopen.
Brewery bosses claim many pubs are too small to successfully enforce the stringent measures.
They say halving the recommended distance to one metre (3ft) would mean 120 per cent more pubs would be able to reopen when safe to do so.
Two men and a dog sit outside a closed pub in Barnard Castle in County Durham yesterday
Pubs have been shut since March 20 – just before the start of the lockdown – but the Government has said they hope to reopen them in July.
Safety tactics such as protective screens, one-way systems and apps for ordering pints have been discussed by pub owners as possible ways to prevent coronavirus transmission, reported The Sun.
But smaller pubs are worried that the two-metre social distancing rule will mean they cannot accept enough customers to keep them in business.
It comes as industry experts estimate pubs lost ten million pint sales over the sunny Bank Holiday weekend.
Emma McClarkin, head of the British Beer and Pub Association, told The Sun: ‘We are all missing the great British pub.
This graphic shows how Wetherspoon pubs could look when they are allowed to reopen again
‘We are working day in, day out alongside the Government to create a safe socialising environment for our staff and customers to return to.
‘Pubs with gardens should be in a great position to reopen at the earliest opportunity, and we hope that the Government will look again at revising the social distancing guidance.’
The two-metre distancing rule is based on the fact that droplets from sneezes and coughs can travel anywhere between one and two metres.
While Britain has strictly maintained a two-metre rule, many other countries such as France have only ever imposed a one-metre rule.
Community officers speak to a woman selling food and drinks yesterday outside a pub in Southend-on-Sea, Essex
Australia, Germany and the Netherlands meanwhile recommend people stay 1.5 metres away from each other.
The World Health Organisation has advised that a one-metre social distancing rule is sufficient to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
Last week Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England, admitted Britain had taken a ‘precautionary approach’ to social distancing.
She added that the government would be open to reducing the social distancing rules if doing so was supported by adequate scientific evidence.