Boris Johnson is set to announce plans for the reopening of pubs, restaurants, museums and cinemas from 4 July, boosting hopes for fresh produce suppliers across the country.
It’s been more than three months since the prime minister effectively shut down the entertainment and hospitality industries, urging people to stay away from public spaces, then imposing a strict national lockdown on March 23.
The collapse in foodservice and catering trade sent shockwaves through Britain’s fresh produce industry, with wholesalers and hospitality suppliers hit the hardest.
One of the biggest recent casualties was London restaurant supplier Mash Purveyors, which went into administration in April as a result.
Johnson is expected to announce a reduction of the 2 metre spacing rule between members of the public today to just one metre, paving the way for restaurants and pubs to allow customers into their premises.
Chairman of Spitalfields Tenants’ Association, Paul Walker, said the move was “welcome” describing it as the “next step” towards the market’s return to health.
“It opens up a major revenue stream and customer base. The catering suppliers here have been decimated,” Walker said, “so hopefully it will bring some life back to the industry.
“I think it will take a while for it to return to normal. It all depends on whether there will be one-metre spacing or not. If they can do that then there could be a major comeback.”
Walker added that restaurants will also likely fare better than pubs, with one metre spacing easier for restaurants to work around.