"Is it worth opening for half a dozen people?" - Why some pubs will stay closed despite easing restrictions

Credit: PA

It's thought many pubs in the region won't reopen despite lockdown restrictions being lifted.

Social distancing measures will mean they're only able to welcome a limited number of customers.

Some landlords say it's not worth opening because they won't make enough money.

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Scottish Licensed Trade Association Managing Director, Colin Wilkinson, said: "The announcement that licensed premises with outdoor areas will be able to re-open sooner is of some comfort for those who can provide this facility and at a scale which makes it viable to do so and can overcome social distancing restriction, but for most, those with a small or no outside area, there is no early reprieve.

"For those who might now consider to use an area they have not used before there are the onerous hurdles of planning and licensing requirements to overcome, not to mention costs.

"Let’s also not forget social distancing measures that will need to be put in place, which if maintained at the current level of 2m, could cut normal capacity by between 60% and 80%."

So when might we be allowed to nip for a pint?

As with a lot of these things it depends where you live.

In England, pubs could be allowed to open from July 4th.

In Scotland, there's no clear date, but phase 2 of the guidelines could see pub gardens open. It won't be until phase 3 that people will be allowed to sit indoors.

Credit: PA

Taking staff off the furlough scheme is also a risk. If you can only operate outside and the weathers bad you're still liable for their wages - without enough income.

So for many pubs, it simply won't be worth opening again, not until it's safe enough for them to welcome the number of customers needed to make money.