“Today is just a very small step towards getting our business back to anywhere near viability. We are only allowed to serve outdoors, which is so reliant on the weather. We are pleased to be opening circa 140 pubs, as we are determined to play our part in kickstarting the economy.
However, let’s not get too excited as we still cannot serve indoors. At least half of UK pubs and 60% of restaurants will not be opening today, as the restrictions make it unviable. Even on 17th May, we will not be trading anywhere near normal.
The key day for UK pubs, restaurants, the economy and jobs is Freedom Day on the 21st June. This is when we get our lives back. It is the first day that UK pubs and restaurants, as well as the economy, can start to rebuild. Until then, the weather as much as anything, will determine whether opening outdoors is worthwhile.
What is for sure, we need the Prime Minister to honour his commitment to the Nation to ensure that 21st June is indeed Freedom Day. He must not, and must not be allowed to backtrack on that commitment.”