How will the hospitality sector open itself back up?
Since Boris Johnson confirmed the rumours, July 4th is being labelled a ‘Super Saturday’ – the day the hospitality sector can begin its long journey back to normality. But anyone expecting to hop between pubs, cafes, and clubs all day long may wind up disappointed: the process of adapting to the new normal will be slow, gradual and incremental.
So, when will hotels reopen? When will clubs and music venues open their doors again? How can we enjoy a pint with our friends indoors, or a glass of red wine over some restaurant food? Here’s our best shot at answering.
Why are pubs, restaurants and hotels reopening on 4th July?
The most significant change that has recently come into effect is the reduction of social distancing rules from 2 metres to 1 metre. This is, in fact, the very reason that the hospitality sector can start to reopen; if you can imagine the smallest pub or cafe you’ve ever been to, and then imagine staying 2 metres apart from people inside, you can get a sense of the difficulty that the old rules caused.
Thanks to this change in the rules, almost all of the hospitality sector will be allowed to open its doors – but they’ll have to be wise to the challenges posed by the lingering threat of the virus.
Can I get a haircut?
Yes! They’ll operate in a completely different way than before, mostly on a pre-booking basis, but hairdresser salons have received the tick of approval from the government. Having said that, based on the midnight queues that barbers in New Zealand faced upon reopening, we think we’ll give it a few days…
When will cinemas, galleries, and museums reopen?
It’s good news again. Subject to improved ventilation and reduced numbers inside, all museums, galleries, and cinemas can reopen their doors once more on July 4th. But we wouldn’t advise heading up that very afternoon and expecting to walk straight into any of these. With heavily spaced queues as well as new booking policies and one-way systems, the daily capacity of these places will be severely hindered upon its reopening.
Why can cinemas but not theatres reopen?
This has caused a lot of confusion, because the seating arrangements in cinemas and theatres are so similar. The answer is to do with how these businesses operate. Social distancing in cinemas is fairly straightforward, because once they’ve received a film, they can run it regularly at a fairly low cost, which means they can sell fewer tickets and space their audience out to comply with social distancing rules.
Putting on a theatre production, however, incurs a far greater cost, and bosses in the industry have said unequivocally that they couldn’t break even with half their ticket sales. An added difficulty is that on-stage social distancing between actors and performers can be very hard if not impossible in most circumstances.
When will hotels reopen?
Hotels will be allowed to reopen to the general public on July 4th, but many are struggling to adapt their buildings to cope with the demands of the pandemic. Take, for example, communal eating and drinking areas; hotels will be saying a reluctant farewell to their minibars, buffets and brasseries for the foreseeable future. Hostels, in addition, will have an even harder time of reopening, given they are built to house numerous different people in small rooms.
In the aparthotel sector, though, it’ll be business as usual. Our commitment to giving our guests their own personal living space and kitchen means that we haven’t had to change all that much to face the ‘new normal’. We’ve ramped up our cleaning practices and ensured minimal contact between staff members and guests, but our aparthotel suites have always been built for social distancing and independent living.
If you’re looking for completely COVID-safe hotel accommodation in London, Manchester or Brighton, look no further than Supercity Aparthotels. Our apartments boast completely private kitchens, bathrooms and living areas, meaning there’s minimal risk of infection in or around the properties. And because we can’t wait to kickstart the summer, we’re giving you the most expensive night of your stay on us. Check out all our summer offers now.