Like pretty much the whole country, those working in the London hospitality industry tuned into the Prime Minister's broadcast tonight, to see if there was a sign of when restaurants and bars might be open.
And it does look as though there's a light, however flickery and faint, at the end of the tunnel. Outlining the new Covid alert system, Boris explained that if deaths and infection cases continue to fall, steps could be taken to reopen. And it's step three that's key for the UK's restaurants and bars.
"In step 3," he said, "at the earliest by July and subject to all these conditions and further scientific advice, if and only if the numbers support it, we will hope to reopen at least some of the hospitality industry and other public places provided they're safe and enforce social distancing." This includes bars, restaurants and cinemas too.
"But," he warned, "we will be driven not by mere hope and economic necessity we'll be driven by the science the data and public health. And I must stress that all of this is conditional - it all depends on a series of big 'ifs'."
So, at the time of writing, that's another two months before bars and restaurants are allowed to open to dine-in customers. This, of course, doesn't affect takeaway and deliveries which are continuing as they have been for the past few weeks. That doesn't leave aside the problem of everyone who can't work from home being "encouraged" to go to work - but also avoiding public transport if they can. We're nt quite sure how that's going to work in Central London...
Here's how some of the restaurant world have reacted:
Trying to visualise two of my chefs on a tandem bike cycling to Soho from Wembley Central picking up fresh curry leaves on their way from Ealing Road- not really reaching in time for lunch but managing to cook dinner. Or maybe I should get them driving lessons & buy them a 🚘.— Asma Khan (@Asma_KhanLDN) May 10, 2020
So I can see my boss but not my mum 🤔— calum franklin (@chefcalum) May 10, 2020
Wtf?!— Tom Parker Bowles (@tomparkerbowles) May 10, 2020
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