Speculation continues over the opening of the hospitality sector with rumours of beer gardens opening and limits of customers and their temperatures checked dismissed.
But what is clear is that the provisional date of July 4 will bring complications to an industry that relies on numbers and generosity after 15 weeks of closure.
Three Cirencester businesses have revealed how they have fared through lockdown and what the future holds for them when the hospitality sector re-opens.
MBB Brasserie in Cirencester is situated in the towns Corn Hall, and was one of the very few venues that stayed open during the lockdown as it altered from a relaxed dining venue to a social distancing supermarket.
Even growing a takeaway following by producing its own pies, sausage rolls and various pastries “that will continue post lockdown”, said Chef Ethan Rodgers.
He said: “We are going to adjust our product offerings to accommodate new consumer needs by offering more ways to experience great tasting food.”
The Golden Cross Inn on Cirencester’s Black Jack Street has been noted by many for its delicious Sunday roasts and quintessential British pub traits.
Its quirky layout does not lend itself to social distancing; something that landlord Mark Lindesay is considering, come opening time.
“Your experience at your local pub is unlikely bear much resemblance to how you might remember it from the past.
“Firstly, strict social-distancing will have to be implemented.
“This currently stands at two metres although various industry lobbies are encouraging the government to reduce this to one metre
“I believe many pubs will be focussing more on their drinks rather than food.
“There are numerous reasons for this, the primary being that surveys suggest that the public are more confident in returning for a drink or two, and less confident in remaining seated for food for prolonged periods.
“Thirdly, strict sanitary policies will be in place; these will include, but not be limited to, separate entry and exit points, no more that one person using the ladies’ and gents’ toilets at any one time, face-masks, disposable gloves being worn by serving staff, and strict sanitising regimes relating to goalless, tables, chairs, cutlery, white ware and more.
“As you might imagine, all of the above will impact heavily on any pub’s ability to trade profitably.”
Michael Obray took over the running of The Kings Head Hotel in the centre of Cirencester earlier this year, just as the pandemic struck.
The lockdown has delayed Michael putting his stamp and influence on the business but his years of experience in hotel management has meant the enthusiasm to get open again has not been diminished.
“We really miss our guests a lot and this imposed closure of businesses has made us realise how much we love being in the service industry and pleasing guests and we are chomping at the bit to welcome them back,” Michael said.
“So, in our eagerness to get back to the ‘new normal’ at the hotel we have set an opening date to give us something positive to focus on.
“We anticipate mid-July but we will announce this in due course once announcements have been made and we know what safety restrictions will be advised by Public Health England.
“We are more fortunate than some in so far as we have a fantastic range and diversity of catering spaces throughout the hotel that would lend themselves to social distancing dining and hotel stays.
“These include our outdoor roof terrace, new courtyard, our two restaurants and five separate events spaces and private dining areas.”