Covid UK: Hospitality and retail bosses warn against vaccine passports


The South West of Britain leads the ranks in terms of pubs that have outdoor space, with 91.7% falling into that category, followed by the South & South East on 74.8%

The South West of Britain leads the ranks in terms of pubs that have outdoor space, with 91.7% falling into that category, followed by the South & South East on 74.8%

More than half of Britain’s pubs and restaurants will be forced to remain closed when lockdown restrictions ease because they do not have outdoor space.  

Under the next relaxation of coronavirus rules, a swathe of freedoms will be restored on April 12 under the current timetable.

This includes a long-awaited reopening for pubs and restaurants in England, which will be able to serve customers in alfresco seating areas.

But despite being given the green light to open, hospitality venues across the country will still be locked after April 12 because just 41,100, or 38.2 per cent, have outdoor space, according to overall data. 

Only 33.1 per cent of operators in London have space they can use outside and only 22.9 per cent of venues in Scotland – which will see sites reopen from April 26 – have outdoor areas. 

Breaking the data further down, by region and type of venue, shows stark differences in each region’s proliferation of open-spaced venues.  

The South West of Britain leads the ranks in terms of pubs that have outdoor space, with 91.7% falling into that category, followed by the South & South East on 74.8%. 

Scotland was the region with the lowest percentage, with less than half – 44.9% – of pubs able to host customers outside. 

Overall data: More than 41,000 pubs, bars and restaurants have some kind of outdoor space which could allow them to reopen on April 12. The South West leads the way, with 51.1 per cent of venues boasting outdoor areas

Overall data: More than 41,000 pubs, bars and restaurants have some kind of outdoor space which could allow them to reopen on April 12. The South West leads the way, with 51.1 per cent of venues boasting outdoor areas

These differences are also present in the figures for restaurants. The East of Britain boasts the highest percentage of restaurants with outdoor spaces – 31.2% – and the South West again holds a prominent position, in second place with 30.6%.

The figure is in the high twenties for much of the rest of England – including Lancashire, London, the North East and Yorkshire – but Scotland and Wales remain in single figures.

Just 8.5% of restaurants in Wales have outside spaces, and only 5.1% in Scotland.

The data comes amid bleak figures which show the number of licensed premises over the past year fell by some 7,592 to 107,516, laying bare the devastating toll of the pandemic.  

From April 12, diners will be able to meet in a group of up to six people from different households, while a maximum of two households can meet to form a group of any size. Indoor dining will only be allowed after May 17. 

The latest monthly Market Recovery Monitor by CGA and AlixPartners has revealed that 38.2 per cent of licensed premises in the UK say they have space to allow them to trade.

Firms have said they will plan to utilise gardens, terraces, car parks and other areas where they can potentially seat guests to reopen when outdoor hospitality is given the go-ahead in the next phase of the Prime Minister’s road map.

More than 41,000 pubs, bars and restaurants have some kind of outdoor space which could allow them to reopen on April 12. 

However, the proportion of operators able to operate outside fluctuates significantly depending on their specific area of the hospitality market.

More than 80 per cent of community pubs have said they have appropriate outdoor space to reopen.

However, only 11.9 per cent of casual dining restaurants have such space, meaning further pain for many chains which have been hit hard in the past 12 months.

The report also said that a significant number of sites with outdoor space will still be unlikely to trade from mid-April because of limitations to their space and the cost of equipping or staffing them being unprofitable.

It highlighted that punters in the south-west of England will be best placed come April 12, with 51.1 per cent of premises in the area having outdoor space.  

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