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Full on-trade reopening widely tipped for 19 July

Published:  05 July, 2021

QR codes and test and trace, compulsory mask-wearing and the one metre rule are all likely to go in England on 19 July, allowing pubs, bars and restaurants to operate at full capacity and their customers to mingle freely.

Details on the changes proposed by government for the revised so-called ‘Freedom Day’ have been widely reported in national press ahead of a commons statement and press briefing later today (5 July).

The much-anticipated announcement by Boris Johnson would end the necessity for table service in pubs and bars, while also allowing restaurants and other food-serving outlets to return to full covers.

The hospitality sector has been among the hardest hit by pandemic-enforced closures and restrictions, with 10,000 outlets permanently closing their doors during a period that counted seven months of restrictions.

Following the four-week extension of restrictions from the original Freedom Day of 21 June, UK Hospitality warned that the sector could lose a further £3bn in sales and 300,000 jobs.

In more upbeat news, while post-19 July full recovery may be impeded by a host of pandemic-related factors, figures from a recent Lumina Intelligence UK Eating Out Market Report 2021 predicted a major bounce back for the sector for the following years.

The Report forecast a total of £3.1bn expected growth for the UK eating and drinking out market from 2022-24, with pubs and restaurants set to claim a £1.3bn share.

The Prime Minster is expected to brief the nation with the latest update on the 19 July lifting of restrictions at 5pm on Monday 5 July.