It is being reported that less than half the pubs in the UK reopened on 4th July, which had been dubbed somewhat irresponsibly “Super Saturday” by one or two of the newspapers more loyal to the Government.
The findings by the Manchester-based CGA Outlet Index suggest that only 45% of pubs and bars that could have reopened over the weekend, did so - just 18,277 of a possible 40,575.
Whilst many venues in Manchester jumped at the chance of ending 105 days of closure, the majority remained closed, with a whole host of reasons being stated, not least the short notice from the Government for operators to implement the necessary procedures, and others stating they will only reopen when they deem it safer to do so.
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Footfall in the city was far lower than many had anticipated, which was welcome news for the staff of those places that had decided to open on the Saturday; allowing them to get to grips with all the necessary changes.
With more and more venues starting to announce their reopening plans, many preferring the later "safer" opening date of Wednesday 8th July, or, in some cases - particularly the hotels - as late as August and September.
The great news for the sector is that venues across the city are already fully booked on many upcoming nights, albeit at a reduced capacity which is unsustainable in the long-term, however the sheer relief of being back in business is a long-awaited feeling shared right across the industry.