Pub bosses hit out at outdoor-only drinking plan from early April

PUB bosses have slammed an outdoor-only drinking plan from early April and have instead demanded the return of inside drinking.

It comes after The Sun revealed that pubs and restaurants will be allowed to serve outdoors from April if Covid-19 cases continue to fall.

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Th news has infuriated industry leaders, who have backed demands for lockdown restrictions to be fully lifted by the end of April, when most over-50s are expected to have been vaccinated.

Patrick Dardis, chief executive of the Young’s pubs chain, said rain would make the outdoors-only idea unworkable and slammed it as "nonsense".

He told the Daily Mail: "There is talk about opening pub gardens but I’m afraid that is just nonsense.

"It is a ridiculous idea that you can just open up in outside spaces. This is the United Kingdom."

Businesses that must close in England’s third lockdown

THE below list of businesses must shut during the lockdown:

  • Non-essential retailers, such as clothing and homeware stores
  • Vehicle showrooms, other than for rental
  • Betting shops
  • Tailors
  • Tobacco and vape shops
  • Electronic goods and mobile phone shops
  • Auction houses, except for auctions of livestock and agricultural equipment
  • Market stalls selling non-essential goods
  • Bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants except for takeaway and delivery
  • Hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites, except for specific circumstances
  • Leisure centres and gyms
  • Swimming pools, sports courts, fitness and dance studios, riding arenas at riding centres, climbing walls, and golf courses
  • Theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries
  • Casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys
  • Skating rinks, go-karting venues, indoor play and soft play centres and areas
  • Circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, water parks and theme parks
  • Zoos, safari parks, and aquariums
  • Indoor attractions at venues such as botanical or other gardens, biomes or greenhouses
  • Hairdressers, barbers and nail salons
  • Tattoo and piercing shops
  • Beauty and tanning salons
  • Nightclubs and adult entertainment venues
  • Community centres and halls apart from a few exceptions

He added: "It demonstrates that certain people in government have lost touch with the public on this and just do not understand.

"On what basis are they making these rules? It is just laughable – as was the 10pm curfew, as was the nonsense about what a 'substantial meal' was."

Mr Dardis said Young’s, which has more than 200 pubs, was losing £5million a month even after receiving state support such as business rates relief.

Tim Martin, chairman of pubs giant JD Wetherspoon, also criticised the beer gardens proposal over the weekend.

He said: "These decisions are made by ministers with no experience of business, or empathy for business.

"In my 41 years in business, it’s the least consultative and most authoritarian government I’ve experienced."

The comments come after a row between pub groups and the government saw companies pull out of regular business round-tables in frustration.

A government spokesman told the Daily Mail: ‘We are deeply disappointed that some pub leaders have decided to step back from meetings with ministers.

"As we plan our way out of restrictions, we will continue to engage relentlessly with the hospitality sector, as we have done throughout this pandemic."

It comes as Britain smashed its coronavirus vaccine target over the weekend, with 15million Brits having received the first jab.

Takeaway pints are currently banned in the national lockdown, but you can get it for home delivery.

Meanwhile, food and non-alcoholic drinks are still able to be sold as takeaway items or through click-and-collect.

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