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Ministers look at restaurants reopening this month

Fish and chip restaurants in England could open their outside spaces from 22nd June, almost two weeks earlier than originally proposed.

According to a report in the Financial Times over the weekend, ministers are keen to see the hospitality industry open up in time for the “lucrative” summer season. The sector was not due to open until 4th July at the earliest.

Six ministers, calling themselves the “save summer six”, are believed to be working together to assess the viability of opening up the sector early in order to save thousand of jobs.

The ministers involved include Robert Jenrick, housing and local government secretary, who is reviewing planning rules to make it easier for restaurants to use outdoor spaces without requiring a licence. The move would also enable takeaways to open their outside seating areas for customers too.

At the same time, prime minister Boris Johnson has asked business secretary Alok Sharma to investigate reducing Britain’s 2m social distancing rule. This would making it viable for many smaller restaurants to open and enable more customers to be served.

The cabinet is expected to discuss the plans on Tuesday.

See what the industry has to say about reducing the 2m social distancing rule in our interview here.

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