Are pubs closing again and what are the current lockdown rules?

PUBS may have to shut again amid fears of a coronavirus resurgence and government prioritisation of the opening of schools.

So what are the current lockdown rules and what are the chances pubs will have to shut at the end of the summer?

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Are pubs closing again?

Government scientists warned that pubs and restaurants may have to shut at the end of the summer.

The hospitality sector has been pegged as one of the first industries that may have to take the hit to reduce the risk of virus transmission. 

England's chief medical officer Chris Whitty announced that further relaxation of the rules must be "stopped now" – and maybe "pulled back a bit".

He said the UK has “probably reached near the limits” of what can be reopened.

It is currently unclear whether these measures will go ahead and what the dates would be.

Will they shut to let schools return?

Professor Chris Whitty hinted that Brits will have to sacrifice other freedoms such as going to the pub in order for schools to reopen fully in September as it was "pivotal for the “wellbeing of our country”.

Sir Jeremy Farrar, Chair of the Wellcome Trust, said reopening schools was about “choices and trade-offs” that would include workplaces, public transport, pubs and “many others”.

The Government's scientific advisory group for emergencies – or SAGE – warned there needs to be "sufficient headroom" in the rate of Covid-19 infections in order for schools to reopen safely.

The scientists said: "It is important to ensure that there will be enough 'room' in terms of the epidemic to open schools in September… there is a strong case for prioritising opening schools over other establishments".

"Reopening requires sufficient headroom in terms of overall infection rates and numbers, and clear communication with parents and teachers.

"There may be a need to change measures at the end of the summer in order to be able to keep R below 1 whilst proceeding with the planned reopening of schools.

"Planning for safe full reopening should take place now and should take account of the health benefits of reopening schools as well as the educational benefits."

Boris Johnson declared that reopening schools was a “national priority” – and vowed to do all it takes to meet the Government’s promise of getting all kids back to school in September.

What are the current lockdown rules for pubs?

Pubs are certainly not the same as before lockdown and you will have to observe a number of restrictions.

The two-metre social distancing rule has been reduced to one metre plus – which means one metre minimum distance when not possible to otherwise.

The "plus" means that the public must also take other precautionary measures to limit any potential spread.

Tables are now placed two metres apart with screens erected at bars to protect staff.

Limits on customers are also be in place, with people only let in if there is a seat for them.

Bars and restaurants need to keep a record of everyone who visits before being served under new plans.

Personal details are kept on file for four weeks and are used to contact people if one of the patrons is hit with coronavirus.

Bar staff need to wear masks and gloves at all times while working.

A one-way system of sorts is in place with customers entering via one door and having to leave via another.

Pubs need to also have controlled access to restrooms in order to keep as many people separated as possible.

Bathrooms must have liquid soap, hand sanitiser and working water taps.

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