It’s a Super Saturday washout! Pub-goers across England will be hit with up to TWO INCHES of rain and battered by strong winds as they finally enjoy a pint again on July 4
- Strong winds and rain will come in the morning and will become heavy in the day
- It will come as pubs, bars and restaurants begin to reopen in England from July 4
- The wet weather means venues may struggle to keep social distancing measures
- People may ditch beer gardens and outdoor spaces to move inside out the rain
Pub-goers across England are set to be hit with showers on Saturday as parts of the hospitality sector are set to reopen.
Strong winds and rain will move in from the west during the morning and will become heavy through the afternoon.
It will come as pubs, bars and restaurants begin to reopen in England on July 4, having been closed since March to slow the spread of coronavirus.
But Saturday’s wet weather means indoor venues could struggle to implement social distancing as people may ditch outdoor areas to move inside out of the rain.
Infection rates for the deadly virus are believed to be significantly higher in inside spaces.
Drinkers stand within rings marked on the grass to maintain their social distance outside a bar in Canary Wharf, East London, yesterday
Pub-goers across England are set to be hit with showers on Saturday as parts of the hospitality sector are set to reopen. Pictured: Samuel Smith’s brewery in Tadcaster delivers beer to local pubs by horse-drawn cart ahead of Super Saturday
People enjoy the early morning weather at Hengistbury Head in Dorset ahead of the washout this weekend
Met Office spokesman Nicola Maxey said although the rain will lessen during the evening, low cloud and drizzly conditions will continue through to Sunday.
She said: ‘Saturday will see more unsettled conditions, with showers beginning in the west during the morning which will begin to move across to the east.
‘While it won’t be unusually wet for the time of year, some areas in the east could become particularly heavy for an hour or two in the mid-morning to early afternoon.
‘Pushing in after that will be a spell of drizzly downpours and some low cloud which will hang over the UK for the rest of the day.’ Between 35-50mm of rain is expected to fall.
It will remain humid across the country, with maximum temperatures of 24C in London and the South East, while central and northern parts of England will reach highs of 20C.
Ms Maxey said this is due to a low-pressure weather system near the UK.
People enjoy the early morning weather at Hengistbury Head in Dorset as they look over the cliff
Friday and Saturday are set to be wet and windy days as these two graphics from the Met Office show
Despite the wet weather the temperature (left) and pollen count (right) will remain quite high on Saturday
Punters are keen to get back to the pubs after more than three months without being able to sip a pint at a bar.
But new rules will change the experience, with screens separating tables, bar staff delivering drink orders to customers and orders being made via apps.
Major players, such JD Wetherspoon, plan to reopen hundreds of its pubs across England, abiding by the raft of safety measures.
A spokesman from JD Wetherspoon, which plans to reopen all 750 of its venues on Saturday, said: ‘The weather is out of our control, but our pubs tend to be three times larger than others so we are not worried about people being inside our venues.
‘We can’t predict what the weather will be like in England, but we have faith that our customers and staff will be as safe as possible.’
Bar staff will be delivering drinks to tables, as seen above at a Greene King in Cambridge, when pubs reopen on Super Saturday
A spokesman for Stonegate Pubs, which owns The Slug and Lettuce chain, which is also reopening, said: ‘Throughout our pubs and bars, we are implementing clear, safe socialising measures both inside and across our outside spaces.
‘We are encouraging customers to pre-book and all bookings work on a time-limit which enables us to manage capacity and customer expectation.
‘Should the weather be inclement, we will work with our customers on a common-sense approach, accommodating where we can those that have had to move from outside areas.
‘Most customers are likely to check the weather and be prepared for the expected short spells of rain or drizzle.’
Yet some bars are set to remain shut, with, some publicans on Tyneside deciding not to open up this weekend, saying they are not yet ready to operate safely.
In Sunderland bars including Ttonic, Chaplins, The Point, Glitter Ball and Arizona will remain shut.
Despite hundreds of pubs across the country opening, some publicans on Tyneside have decided not to open up this weekend, saying they are not yet ready to operate safely. Pictured: Chaplins in Sunderland will remain shut
Their management team wrote: ‘We are concerned that the mass gatherings and intensity expected on Saturday isn’t worth putting our team under unnecessary risk and stress.
‘Our safety, your safety and to protect the emergency services from unnecessary duress we think is paramount and the responsible thing to do in our much loved City.
‘We will not be opening until further notice and remain closed this weekend. Please understand our decision for now, we must protect our staff and the people in our City.
‘Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause for your weekend plans we hope everyone stays alert, safe and practices social distancing as outlined by the Government.’
Experts warned medical staff were ‘bracing themselves’ for an influx of patients when pubs throw open their doors.
Dr Katherine Henderson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday: ‘We’re bracing ourselves, I think would be a fair way to say it.
‘It actually is quite serious, we have emergency departments having to work in a very different way than they did before because we have to keep vulnerable patients safe so we can’t have crowded emergency departments.
‘What we can’t do is have a department that gets overwhelmed by people who are injured because they have got themselves into a fight, they have fallen off something, they have drunk so much that they actually need the health service’s help.
‘People have been standing at doorways clapping the NHS, well more important than clapping the NHS is using the resources responsibly and anybody who goes out and gets so drunk that they need an ambulance and they need to come to an emergency department is not supporting the NHS.’
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