Business secretary dashes hopes of June reopening for restaurants and pubs
Business secretary Alok Sharma has dashed hopes for a June reopening of restaurants and pubs who can serve guests outside.
The business secretary has said the government continues to work towards a roadmap of 4 July as the earliest opening date for hospitality, subject to advice at the time.
The earlier date for a partial reopening was understood to have been put forward by chancellor Rishi Sunak and other senior politicians hoping to kick-start the hospitality industry and stem job losses in the sector.
A reduction in the two-metre distancing guideline had also been hoped for, but Sharma said the distance remained in place. He added: "We take advice from Sage (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) and, when it is safe to do so, we will see if we can move to a smaller distance. We keep all these things under review. "
Sharma has confirmed that non-essential retail will be able to open from Monday, in line with guidelines. He said that those breaching the guidelines could be subject to enforcement action.
Further guidance for pubs, restaurants and bars will be published "as soon as we can", the business secretary added.