Pubs with beer gardens and other outside spaces should be among the first to reopen once the coronavirus lockdown is eased, says the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).

The more than 27,000 pubs with an outside area, big enough for socially distanced drinking, should be able to open from 4 July, says the trade association.

“We want to explore all opportunities for our nation’s pubs to reopen safely and viably as soon as is possible,” said BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin.

It says that pubs with beer gardens or outside terraces should be best placed to meet social distancing restrictions, enabling people to enjoy their local community pub’s beer garden in the summer sun.

The trade association estimates that there are some 27,000 pubs across the UK with beer gardens – more than half of the UK’s 47,000 pubs in total.

The BBPA has previously welcomed the news that pubs could re-open as part of phase three of the Government’s roadmap which starts from 4July at the earliest. However, it has stated that more clarity is needed on the conditions pubs will need to re-open under in July and that Government must recognise that many pubs may not be able to meet the safety criteria and so be forced to stay closed beyond that date.

There has also been speculation that Government is considering introducing more flexibility for pubs, restaurants and bars to use other outside space including pavements and could also be given permission to sell food and drink from street stalls outside their premises in the coming weeks.

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