United Kingdom

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The two-metre social distancing rule is a threat to UK hospitality and the nation's domestic tourism and should be halved, trade groups have warned the Government. 

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) and UK Hospitality fear that many venues such as pubs and restaurants will not be able to make enough money if the rule, which restricts customer numbers, stays in place.

BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: "It must be recognised that no two pubs are the same and for many, ensuring a distance of two metres will be impossible, keeping them closed for much longer. Actioning advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO) for example to use one metre for social distancing from July would enable many more pubs to viably reopen and serve their communities again."

UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "At two metres you are receiving 30 per cent of your normal revenues, at one metre it gets up to 70 per cent - so it is the difference between success and failure for many of those businesses. They will need support if two-metre social distancing is in place.

"If that is what the science says and if that is what our public health needs, that is what we will maintain. We just need to have the additional Government support to make that workable."

Reopening of venues is expected to begin from July 4 in England and the Government is soon expected to publish its guidelines on how pubs, restaurants and hotels can begin to welcome customers again.

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