Michael Gove told LBC radio this week that it was “going to be more difficult” for pubs, restaurants, and bars to reopen as lockdown restrictions are gradually eased by the Government.
The Cabinet Minister told LBC’s Nick Ferrari that there are plans for hospitality businesses to reopen, but social distancing guidelines will be in place and safety measures must be followed.
There will be complications, then, and as yet, no clarification on exactly what those news will be has been offered.
Mr Gove said initially he hopes people “would be able to have outdoor hospitality, so that you can enjoy a drink in the garden of a pub, or that you could eat outdoors in a cafe.”
He said the Government has been “exploring how we can do that, in a safe way.”
Ahead of businesses reopening, operators will have to carry out and pass a risk assessment to identify any activities which may help transmit the virus and limit the spread.
As well as informing all employees about the assessment’s findings, companies with more than 50 employees will be expected to publish the results on their website.
Mr Gove’s stark warning was “I think it’s going to be very difficult for us to return to any of us standing at the bar, or any of us mingling in a cafe indoors in the way that we have in the past.”
Later in the week, Boris Johnson indicated restaurants might open sooner than previously prospected.
“It is really difficult to bring forward hospitality measures in a way that involves social distancing,” Johnson said.
“But I am much more optimistic about that than I was. We may be able to do things faster than I previously thought.”