Not on the list? You’re not coming in! Drinkers might have to register online before visiting pubs when they reopen on July 4, says Matt Hancock
- Boris Johnson set to unveil further loosening of coronavirus lockdown for July 4
- Pubs and bars are on track to be given the green light to get back up and running
- Matt Hancock suggests drinkers might need to register online and order on app
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
People might need to register before going to the pub and order drinks using an app, Matt Hancock said today.
The Health Secretary confirmed the options are being considered as ways to make it ‘safe’ to reopen the hospitality industry.
Mr Hancock insisted that the government is ‘on plan’ to get more sectors of the economy up and running on July 4. Boris Johnson is expected to announce this week that the two-metre social distancing rule is being halved.
But he made clear that there is little chance of bars and restaurants getting back to business as usual any time soon.
Asked on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge programme whether drinkers will need to register before going to the pub, and order using an app, Mr Hancock said: ‘That is the sort of thing that we are looking at for how do you make it safe to open things… I wouldn’t rule it out.’
Crowds of people drank outside a bar in Wandsworth, London, yesterday as pubs and bars across the country served takeaway pints to eager revellers
Asked on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge programme whether drinkers will need to register before going to the pub, and order drinking using an app, Matt Hancock said: ‘That is the sort of thing that we are looking at for how do you make it safe to open things… I wouldn’t rule it out.’
The step – previously taken in countries such as New Zealand – would allow for easier tracing of customers if someone who went to the venue is found to have been infected.
The PM is set to unveil a new ‘one metre plus’ rule within days and give Britons the green light for holidays and haircuts as he tries to breathe life back into the economy.
Mr Johnson now looks certain to halve the social distance – as long as other protections such as face coverings are used – in a crucial moment for the coronavirus battle on Tuesday.
The next phase of lockdown loosening from July 4 will also permit hairdressers to roll up the shutters in a boost for thousands of barbers and millions of shaggy-haired Britons in need of a trim.
The UK holiday season will start within a fortnight when the Prime Minister gives the green light to hotels and vacation parks to reopen.
Although Downing Street insisted no final decision has yet been taken on restarting the £130billion-a-year domestic tourism industry, The Mail on Sunday has been told an announcement could come along with the other changes.
New advice is then likely to be sent to British tourism chiefs by the end of the week.
Meanwhile, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is preparing another huge package of tax cuts and spending to revive UK plc after lockdown. VAT is set to be slashed as part of efforts to prop up struggling businesses and stave off mass unemployment.
Notting Hill in London was crowded with people enjoying the sunshine and clutching drinks yesterday as pubs and bars served beverages to go
On when the hospitality industry will be allowed to open, Mr Hancock said: ‘We’re on plan, we will of course be setting out more details of that plan and in the plan it states that on around July 4 we will take further measures if it’s safe to do so.
‘We talk about hospitality and outdoor hospitality in that plan but there are a whole series of other services especially where you need to be physically close to someone to carry it out like a haircut – a lot of the country does need a haircut.’
Pressed if that could mean haircuts resuming on July 4, he said: ‘I’m not going to rule that out. We’ll set out the details as soon as we can.
‘We’re clearly on track for that plan because the number of cases coming down and the plan does refer to hospitality and some of the other things that are closed that so many people want to see open.’
Mr Hancock pointed out that other countries – such as New Zealand – have put in place registration systems for going to pubs and bars.
Detailing other ways that are being considered to make venues safer, he said: ‘Things like wearing a face mask which reduces the transmission clearly, about how the seating is arranged because face-to-face is much more dangerous than back-to-back and there’s more transmission than side to side.
‘And also the sorts of things you can put in place to strengthen test and trace because the whole approach is to move as much as safely possible from a national lockdown towards targeted local action when we see an outbreak.’