YOUNG’S is planning to start reopening some of its pubs and beer gardens from mid-July.
The pub chain, which has 276 boozers – most of which are in the capital – says it hopes to start trading again in mid-July at its larger venues.
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But if this isn't possible, the pub chain plans to have all sites open by August 3 when it believes it will be able to offer a more normal service.
In a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus the pub chain will implement 1m social distancing measures between people, rather than 2m currently in force across the UK.
Young's adds that it will bring in table service, tabling ordering, reduced menus and offer staff masks.
But chief executive, Patrick Dardis, told The Sun: "We want pubs to be pubs, not like an operating theatre.”
In its preliminary results published today, Mr Dardis added: "One thing we can be sure of is that at some point the pandemic will pass.
"The fabulous weather we have experienced so far this spring has been a gentle reminder of the enormous opportunity our business has to bounce back once it’s safe for the government’s restrictions to be lifted.
"I am looking forward to all of our team reuniting, opening the doors
to our great pubs and welcoming back our customers once we are through this."
Operating profits at the company were down 5 per cent in the last financial year, falling to £58.4million.
The pub chain says it took a £13million hit having to close its pubs when the UK went into lockdown on March 23 and non-essential retailers and service providers had to close.
But Young's points out it has benefited from a one-year business rates holiday worth £14.5million, while staff have been placed on the government's furlough scheme, which currently covers 80 per cent of wages up to £2,500 a month – although this is being scaled back from August.
Young's employs around 4,700 staff across the UK.
Pubs and restaurants have been told by the government they can't reopen to the public until at least July 4, although they are allowed to remain open for deliveries.
Measures outlining how pubs can reopen safely are expected to be announced by the government this month.
The announcement by Young's follows Greene King saying it plans for beer gardens to reopen with punters ordering from phones when lockdown measures lift.
Meanwhile, Wetherspoon has revealed an £11million plan for getting its 875 pubs ready to reopen after lockdown.
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