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Independent landlords vow to ditch ALL Covid rules on Freedom Day

Pub landlords have hailed the news that Boris Johnson‘s ‘Freedom Day’ plans will mark the end of mask wearing and table service in hospitality venues. 

Many hospitality business owners are waiting with anticipation to see what the Prime Minister will announce this afternoon. 

But others are adamant that they will be ditching all restrictions as soon as they are allowed to under law. 

Adam Brooks, who runs The Three Colts and The Owl pubs in Essex, told Mail Online: I’ll be ditching everything. It’s what’s right. 

‘It’s what the businesses were designed as, hundreds of years of history. Standing at bars is a British tradition.’

He later posted on social media: ‘Hospitality & this country needs what’s going to be said tonight. This isn’t about ‘Drinking at a bar’ .. This is about life as you knew it returning [sic].’

Pub landlord Adam Brooks runs The Three Colts and The Owl pubs in Essex and says he will be thrilled to reinstate the ‘British tradition’ of drinking at the bar once restrictions are lifted

Gary Murphy, who runs Ye Olde Mitre in High Barnet, also insisted it is time to 'return to normalcy' as the Covid restrictions have piled pressure on hospitality businesses

Gary Murphy, who runs Ye Olde Mitre in High Barnet, also insisted it is time to ‘return to normalcy’ as the Covid restrictions have piled pressure on hospitality businesses

From table service to masks: Those changing rules and what they will mean for hospitality venues

Boris Johnson is to declare an end to most lockdown restrictions from July 19 today, with social distancing rules, the work from home order, and mask mandates to be ditched as he will argue that we must learn to live with coronavirus as we do with the flu. 

PUBS AND RESTAURANTS

Hospitality venues in England will no longer be required to collect track and trace data from July 19. Businesses won’t have to ask customers to scan a QR code using the NHS phone app on entry or to hand over their contact details, although they will have the option of continuing to do so if they wish. Mandatory table service rules will also be scrapped, meaning drinkers will be able to order at the bar again in pubs.

MASKS

Wearing masks will become voluntary everywhere apart from hospitals and other health facilities from July 19 in England. Public transport passengers, shoppers and those visiting pubs, restaurants, cinemas and theatres will no longer be required by law to cover up. However, people may still be encouraged to wear masks in some enclosed places where they come into close contact with each other, for example on London Tube trains.

 

He added in a second Tweet: ‘Isn’t freedom a lovely thing, the CHOICE to wear a mask or social distance if YOU want to, the choice not go to the busy pub or restaurant if YOU don’t want to [sic].’ 

Boris Johnson is to declare an end to most lockdown restrictions from July 19 at a press conference later today.

Social distancing rules, the work from home order, and mask mandates are expected to be ditched as the Prime Minister will argue that we must learn to live with coronavirus as we do with the flu.

The Prime Minister will use a press conference this afternoon to confirm a bonfire of virus rules and restrictions from the so-called Freedom Day later this month, in which he will say that individuals will again be able to judge the risks of coronavirus for themselves.

The announcement was welcomed with cautious optimism by Wetherspoons boss, Tim Martin.

But the pub giant boss said he would be waiting to see what the government’s plans are when they are finally published. 

He told Mail Online: ‘We will look into what the government is proposing later this week, having discussed with pub teams during our calls on pubs in the interim.

‘In broad terms, Wetherspoon, like the industry, welcomes with open arms, any signs of normality.’  

This was echoed by pub chain Youngs, who also said they would wait until the Prime Minister’s announcement before any decision would be made over restrictions in their pubs.

Under the new plans expected to be set out, hospitality venues in England will no longer be required to collect track and trace data from July 19. 

Businesses won’t have to ask customers to scan a QR code using the NHS phone app on entry or to hand over their contact details, although they will have the option of continuing to do so if they wish.  

Boris Johnson is to declare an end to most lockdown restrictions from July 19 at a press conference later today

Boris Johnson is to declare an end to most lockdown restrictions from July 19 at a press conference later today

The announcement was welcomed with cautious optimism by Wetherspoons boss, Tim Martin (pictured) who said he would be waiting to see what the government's plans are when they are published

The announcement was welcomed with cautious optimism by Wetherspoons boss, Tim Martin (pictured) who said he would be waiting to see what the government’s plans are when they are published

Mandatory table service rules will also be scrapped, meaning drinkers will be able to order at the bar again in pubs.

Gary Murphy, the manager at the Grade II listed Ye Old Mitre pub in High Barnet, London, was pleased at the news and described current rules on mask wearing in pubs as ‘lunacy’.

Mr Murphy told Mail Online: ‘You’re wearing one to stand up but you take it off to sit down, and staff have to wear one when they’re doing table service – none of those regulations make much sense anyway. I think the general public agree with me there.’

He called for a ‘return to normalcy’ adding: ‘It’s time to end the restrictions and it’s time to let business owners decide what precautions their customers want. That has got to be the way forward.’

Mr Murphy said the current restrictions have put huge pressure on his business to the extent that the pub is ‘barely breaking even’. 

He puts this in part down to the enforcement of table service and the additional staff costs these measures incur. 

His pub, Ye Ole Mitre, dates as far back as 1636 and was built from timbers from old shipwrecks. 

He said: ‘Table service for a wet led drinking pub, which this is, is incredibly onerous. 

Under the new plans expected to be set out, hospitality venues like Ye Old Mitre pub (pictured) will no longer be required to collect track and trace data from July 19

Under the new plans expected to be set out, hospitality venues like Ye Old Mitre pub (pictured) will no longer be required to collect track and trace data from July 19

Gary Murphy, the manager at the Grade II listed Ye Old Mitre pub in High Barnet, London, was pleased at the news and described current rules on mask wearing in pubs as 'lunacy'

Gary Murphy, the manager at the Grade II listed Ye Old Mitre pub in High Barnet, London, was pleased at the news and described current rules on mask wearing in pubs as ‘lunacy’

‘We need more staff to do sales, there’s a lot of running about, and the banter you usually get at the bar is missing. 

‘It all feels rather clinical. I would imagine most publicans will be looking forward to getting back to bar service, and a lot of customers will to.’

He also said how pub prices have not been upped to reflect the pressure of the restrictions, but if they were to continue, publicans would have to examine their price lists to ensure the future of their businesses.   

Mr Murphy said: ‘Because this has all been a ‘temporary-but-gone-on-forever’ sort of thing we haven’t adjusted our process to reflect table service.

‘But I think if table service was a permanent thing we would have to look at putting prices up by around 15 or 20% because it is very onerous on staffing.

‘Our losses have been massive, and we’re still losing money. We’re barely breaking even now.  

He added: ‘If we think Monday 19th is going to be an instant bounce back to what it was like pre-Covid we’re deluded. 

‘There’s a lot of healing to be done for people whether they were scared or not scared. 

‘It’s going to take time but we must press ahead with the rights of business owners to operate as they see fit instead of the government micro managing us like this.’

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