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PM confirms reopening of hospitality from 17 May

Published:  10 May, 2021

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that hospitality venues will be able to open for indoor trading from 17 May, as part of the next stage of restrictions being lifted.

At a press conference held this afternoon (Monday 10 May), Johnson confirmed the further easing of restrictions, with pubs and restaurants able to serve groups of six, or two households indoors for the first time since December last year.

The announcement was a “much welcome and vitally important next step”, as we continue along the roadmap to remove restrictions, said Kate Nicholls, CEO of UK Hospitality (UKH). 

“There is a huge sense of relief within the sector, in particular for the six in 10 venues that were not able to reopen over recent weeks due to a lack of outdoor space. This also gives businesses far more certainty with trading no longer beholden to the weather,” she said. 

However, with significant restrictions still in place, this was a “psychological opening rather than an economic one”, with the profitability of the sector still a “huge issue”, she added. 

“This is why sticking to the roadmap and the removal of all restrictions by 21 June is absolutely crucial, enabling venues to finally operate in viable conditions, after fourteen months of severely disrupted trading. 

“Hospitality, as it emerges from restrictions, is still in a fragile state and continued government support will be critical to ensuring the sector is rejuvenated and plays a full role in the wider economic recovery,” said Nicholls.

The next stage of the government’s roadmap will also enable hotels to reopen.