Pub staff across England have their hands full as they prepare to welcome back drinkers on July 4.
Landlords have just two more full days to get ready for so-called ‘Super Saturday’ when drinking holes throw open doors for the first time since lockdown was imposed in March.
Pictures show Gary Harding and Gavin Hattrick, founders of the Whitley Bay Brewing Company in Northumberland, hard at work to ensure boozers have all the beer they need.
They are certainly not the only ones bolstering production, with Guinness recently confirming they were ‘ramping up very, very strongly through the months of June and July’.
Snaps from The Mossy Well in Muswell Hill, north London, also show what Wetherspoons will look like when they unbolt doors at the weekend.
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Pubs are among the UK businesses hit the hardest during the coronavirus pandemic, with industry experts previously fearing thousands would not survive.
Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, has described the Covid-19 crisis as ‘devastating’ for the sector financially.
However, pubs and bars are set to be very different places when they reopen, with new rules stating that no loud music or entertainment will be allowed, as well as no groups bigger than six and all customers required to give their details upon entry.
While thousands across the country are keen to return, police bosses have aired concerns about the planned easing of lockdown measures.
John Apter, national chairman of the Police Federation in England and Wales, has named Saturday a ‘perfect storm’ as there ‘are not enough police’ to handle it.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s World At One programme, he said: ‘My colleagues are doing their absolute best, there are not enough of us – I’ve said that for a number of years – and the challenges are increasing.
‘They are going to get even more difficult on July 4 when the lockdown is eased even further and that’s a big concern to me and policing, and it should be for the NHS.
‘To ease the lockdown – which I completely understand, businesses have to survive and the economy must grow and I accept that – but to announce this easing of lockdown on a Saturday has created almost a countdown to carnival.
‘I am deeply concerned we are going to see real big problems on that day when people are trying to get into pubs and bars and restaurants, drinking – alcohol causes an awful lot of problems for us to have to try and pick up the pieces.’
Met Police chief Dame Cressida Dick has confirmed there will be extra officers on duty in London in case violence flares up.
Meanwhile, health bosses have reportedly urged hospitals to plan for surges in A&E admissions ‘similar to that of New Year’s Eve’ on July 4
Emails from NHS officials to hospital trusts ask them to ‘ensure that your demand/activity planning reflects a busy weekend, with peaks in activity into the evenings similar to that of New Years’s Eve’, according to the Health Service Journal and the Evening Standard.
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