Kieran Macadie


The Return of Britain’s Pubs and Restaurants

07 July 2020

A bartender is wearing protective gear whilst doing his job to ensure customers are safe. Photograph: Manchester Evening News

British people enjoyed a cold pint and a hot meal out for the first time in over 3 months this weekend.

Saturday 4th of July saw Britain relax the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions even further as pubs, restaurants, and hairdressers were permitted to reopen their doors since the lockdown began on the 23rd of March.

Many people couldn’t wait to get back to the pub with a fresh trim however others believe the government is easing the lockdown too early.

I spoke to a few pub goers around the Teesside area over the weekend to hear their thoughts on the lockdown restrictions being relaxed.

“I’m buzzing to be back here!” says Robert, 33 at the Thomas Sheraton in Stockton on Tees. “Many people need the pub to socialize and enjoy themselves and 3 months without it has been proper tough” he continues.

Robert’s friend James, 32 adds “I think the lockdown could have also seriously affected people’s mental health when they haven’t been able to properly interact at a pub for so long, so I think them coming back is a good thing.”

Whilst many are excited to enjoy a drink again, many others think the lockdown has been eased too soon. Barmaid Rebecca, 20, is back at work and doesn’t feel safe.

“I think it’s too soon,” says Rebecca. “Even though the number of deaths has gone down, the virus hasn’t gone at the end of the day and is still very dangerous. Social distancing is hard as it is, I can imagine it being a lot harder when people have had a drink. This could be the start of a second wave of the virus and it’s too much to risk in my opinion.”

As the weekend went on, many have begun to question if the government has made the right decisions with easing the lockdown.

John Apter, chair of the Police Federation England tweeted, “What was crystal clear is that drunk people can’t/won’t social distance. It was a busy night but the shift managed to cope. I know other areas have had issues with officers being assaulted. Now heading home, to those still on shift please stay safe.”

Pubs, restaurants, and hairdressers are now back open across the UK with cinemas also reopening later this month, but places such as nightclubs, gyms and live music venues will remain closed for the time being.