On Monday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a roadmap for the reopening of certain sections of English society.
The phased reopening of the hospitality sector – first outdoors from April 12, then indoors a month later – has done little to ease the fears of restaurant and bar owners who have seen their livelihoods put on indefinite hold.
“We’ll be opening outdoors in one of the wettest months of the year and I think for a lot of restaurants, financially, it won’t be viable,” says Sam Harrison of Sam’s Riverside restaurant.
“We can’t afford to get this wrong.”
Sunny Lodge, owner of Diogenes the Dog wine bar, doesn’t believe gyms and non-essential retail should open before restaurants and pubs. “There’s a lot of anger at not fully understanding why we’re not part of the non-essential shops opening up,” he said.
Hair and beauty salons also won’t open until April 12 at the earliest. Owners are expecting trade to be brisk.
“A lot of people are saving money and they can’t wait to spend that money as soon as they can,” says Alessandro Conforti from the Shine Holistic salon.
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