London Restaurants’ Response To 4th July Reopening.
The Relief Of London Restaurants That They Will Be Able To Reopen With ‘One-Metre Plus’ Social Distancing For Customers Instead Of The Current Two Metre Rule.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson today made the widely anticipated announcement in Parliament that restaurants and pubs in England will finally be allowed to reopen on 4th July, following the enforced closure of non-essential retailers – including restaurants, hotels and pubs – on 20th March due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
London restaurants, which had anticipated the reopening date but had feared that the current 2 metre social distancing would continue to be be applied to restaurants, were heartened to hear that the social distancing requirement for restaurants would be ‘1-metre plus’.
The announcement provided restaurants – which had been increasingly resorting to collection and takeaway services to stay afloat during the last three months – with a massive boost. Upmarket steakhouse operator Hawksmoor emphasised the need for restaurants and their customers to unite in following the principles of Government guidance and common sense.
The Responsibility Of Restaurants & Their Customers To Adhere To The One-Metre Plus Social Distancing Rule When Restaurants Reopen.
Welcoming the news, UK Hospitality – the UK’s trade lobby group – commented that it provided hospitality businesses time to prepare while cautioning that they will be studying the government published ‘Covid-secure’ guidance outlining measures that will need to be put in place by restaurants to enable them to reopen. UK Hospitality’s CEO, Kate Nicholls, noted the need for restaurants, pubs and their customers to observe the one metre plus reduced social distancing rule whilst being ever-vigilant with regard to hygiene awareness in terms of regular hand washing & use of anti-viral hand sanitiser.
The one metre plus rule – meaning that people should still try to maintain a social distance of 2 metres but ensure a maximum social distance of 1 metre in environments where it is not practicable to observe a 2 metre distance – will enable hospitality venues to operate at a level of 45% to 75% which will hopefully result in them being able to run at a profit – albeit it a massively reduced one – which should enable most of them to survive. Rules will need to be put in place to ensure safety between customers and staff with anticipated measures including use of ordering apps and staff wearing face masks with frequent washing of hands.
In his announcement today the Prime Minister also emphasised that restaurants and pubs will be expected to take note of contact details of customers to assist the UK’s all-important track-and-trace initiative in combating COVID-19.
How Outside ‘Alfresco’ Dining May Prove To Be A Life-Saver For London Restaurants.
As the Prime Minister mentioned in today’s announcement London restaurants will be encouraged to use their entrepreneurial inventiveness to open outdoor dining spaces as the risk of infection reduces noticeably outside compared to the risk of infection in indoor areas.
It is hoped that councils and central government will relax rules on outdoor spaces to enable restaurants and bars to provide alfresco dining spaces at outdoor areas in London such as streets and pavements to enable restaurants to increase the number of covers that they are able to provide.
Private Dining Rooms In London Will Finally Be Allowed To Reopen On 4th July.
Today’s government announcement that restaurants in London and throughout England will be able to reopen on 4th July came as a massive relief to the many hundreds of restaurants with private dining rooms which will also be able to reopen for events.
Private dining rooms at London restaurants are perfectly suited for guests wishing to shield themselves away from the main restaurant diners and provide a safe environment for small groups of diners. Private dining rooms are a key component in many restaurants’ overall trading and are an important part of the London restaurant industry. With the corporate Christmas party restaurant bookings traditionally building up a full head of steam from early July onwards, London restaurants have today breathed a huge collective sigh of relief that they will be able to reopen their private rooms alongside their restaurant floors for business within the next the next two weeks.