The prime minister has announced that pubs can re-open on 4th July, and many are choosing to do so (although it’s worth noting that there are a few leaving it to a later date and, sadly, some which aren’t re-opening at all).

Rupert Thompson, owner of Surrey-based Hogs Back Brewery, said: “We welcome the re-opening of pubs and restaurants on 4th July, as well as the cautious approach the government is taking.

“There’s nothing like a pint of our TEA — Traditional English Ale — in the pub, and we’ll be working with our pub customers on supply to ensure that they are ready to ‘roll out the barrel’ when they re-open.

“We’re re-opening our own Summer Bar at the brewery, and the one metre plus guidelines on social distancing will enable us to seat customers safely while still ensuring that they can enjoy a social drink and catch up with friends after the long lockdown.

“It’s also clear that some people will still be cautious, and it could well be a ‘beer and barbecue at home’ summer for them, so we’re adding flexibility to our beer range with an expanded canned range alongside keg and cask to meet all those consumer needs.”

Shepherd Neame Jonathan

Shepherd Neame chief executive, Jonathan Neame (pictured), welcomed the announcement and its “much needed clarity”. He added: “We are also grateful that the government has listened to our industry’s calls for a change in social distancing guidance from the two-metre rule, and today announced that it will introduce a one-metre-plus approach, similar to that used in many countries across the world, with other mitigation measures in place.”

He said his company’s aim was clear: to protect team members, and reassure customers they are safe in the pubs, while still ensuring they enjoy an authentic and engaging experience in the distinctive and individual pub environments.

The company has made signifcant investment in making its pubs safe, and there will be some changes for customers. In its managed estate, customers will need to book tables. They will be able to view menus online. They will need to pay by card and make use of sanitation points. Jonathan’s full statement can be viewed here.

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