Pubs won't open until July earliest, warns brewery boss – dashing Brit hopes of enjoying a pint in the sun next month

BRITS hoping to enjoy a freshly-pulled pint next month have been dealt a fresh blow after one of the UK's biggest independent breweries said there were no plans to reopen pubs until early July.

Ralph Findlay, the chief exec of Midlands brewers Marston's which also owns around 1,400 pubs in the UK, said the government had given a target date of early July for "some sort of reopening."

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He told Radio 4's Today programme:"We are desperate to know when we are going to be able to reopen our pubs as well.

"We have had an indication from the govt that the target date for some sort of reopening is early July.

"It's not clear at this point under what circumstances we'd be allowed to open, in terms of social distancing or what other restrictions might be in place.

"So I think there's a lot of work still to do to understand that at the moment and the economic consequences of whatever restrictions are still in place.

"But  early July would look at this point to be the soonest that we'll see pubs opening in this country."

Ministers are drawing up plans to relax outdoor seating licences so that pubs can open in July.

Pubs could be allowed to sell pints and food as market-style outdoor stalls from June 1.

Establishments that do not already have open areas would have to wait longer to reopen and would have to pay around £300 for a licence.

Government officials have previously suggested it could take many months for pubs to reopen – sparking fears for the future of many of the UK's 48,349 locals.

However, a top scientists has claimed that pubs and restaurants could reopen now without risking a second coronavirus wave.

University of Oxford professor Sunetra Gupta insists there is a "strong possibility" the hospitality sector could exit the Covid-19 lockdown without endangering the public.

Thousands of Brits have already been sinking pints from the pub again as more and more enterprising landlords offer take-outs.

Punters are keeping two metres apart in queues before being served by staff wearing PPE – in accordance with government guidance.

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