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George Eustice confirms pubs with gardens could be first venues to reopen

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The Environment Secretary George Eustice has said pubs and restaurants that have beer gardens or outside areas are likely to be the first to reopen within the hospitality sector.

Eustice said on Friday that pubs and restaurants are likely to reopen, at the earliest from July.

He was pressed on the Chancellors furlough scheme and will it remain for sectors which will take longer to get back to work.

Eustice told Sky News, “The sectors that are going to have the greatest challenge getting back to work, which we recognise, and I’m sure the Chancellor recognises this too, the hospitality sector and some of those other ticketed venues, in particular cinemas and in particular theatres, restaurants and pubs, will also face a challenge getting back in to operation.

“And that is why we won’t be loosening the restrictions on them until at least July and even then it is likely that in the case of pubs and restaurants it will begin with beer gardens and outdoor areas only.”

Eustice was asked will there be continued support for self-employed workers, he replied, “Well obviously it is nearly a month ago now that we said we wanted to reopen those bits of the economy that couldn’t work from home, so we’ve been encouraging the construction industry for instance to get back to work.

“A lot of those self-employed professions such as plumbers, electricians and so on, those people are able to return to work now, albeit observing social distancing, but we need to try to start to get bits of the economy back to work.

“Now I don’t know what Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, will say later in terms of self-employed and the furlough scheme for them, but I think there is a general overarching message here that we’ve had a very generous furlough scheme in place to help people through these extraordinary times and to ensure that businesses’ overheads could be covered.”




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