News story

Chancellor welcomes staff back as hospitality prepares to reopen

The Chancellor visited a pub in London to see how they’re planning to reopen safely at the weekend.

  • the measured reopening of hospitality will allow the 1.4 million workers in this sector who have been furloughed to return to work safely
  • the pub is one of the 27 owned by Fuller’s set to open their doors on Saturday, bringing more than 600 people off furlough

The Chancellor met some of the hospitality staff coming off furlough this weekend while on a visit to a pub in London. Thousands of people will begin returning to their jobs as pubs, restaurants, bars, and cafes gradually open their doors to customers again from Saturday (4th July).

While in The Bell & Crown pub in Chiswick, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, spoke with the pub’s Head Chef and Manager about how they plan to enforce social distancing and adjust working practices to minimise staff and customer contact.

The Bell & Crown pub is one of 27 pubs that Fuller’s are opening on Saturday, with the aim of having over 80% of their pubs and hotels open safely by the end of July. More than 600 of their staff will return from furlough this weekend.

The hospitality sector has been hit hard by the outbreak, with most of the county’s pubs and restaurants having to stop trading entirely. This has left staff without jobs, resulting in 1.4 million workers in the hospitality sector being furloughed, including more than 90% of staff in the pub sector.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:

The hospitality sector is a vital part of our economy and crucial to people’s livelihoods - Britain’s pubs and bars alone employ almost half a million people - which is why it’s such good news that so many people are able to return to work this weekend, helping us all to enjoy summer safely.

Simon Emeny, Chief Executive of Fuller’s, said:

It’s fantastic to welcome back our teams and see the pubs getting ready to reopen and greet our customers. We will continue to open our pubs in a phased and gradual manner over the coming weeks and we’re really proud of the steps we’ve taken to protect our employees and our guests. It might look and feel slightly different, but I know our fantastic pub teams will still be able to deliver the great experience our customers expect from a Fuller’s pub.


  • Pictures of the Chancellor’s visit is on the Treasury’s Flickr.
  • Accommodation and food services support 2.4 million jobs (ONS, Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES), 2018). Of this, food and beverage services (pubs, restaurants, cafes etc) account for 1.9 million jobs.
  • Accommodation and food services employers have furloughed 1.4 million employments and claimed £2.6 billion in support under the CJRS. (HMRC, June)
  • The hospitality sector employs a large proportion of young people, with over 1/3 of employees in the 16-24 age group and the majority (76% of all employees) do not have a degree or higher qualifications, putting them at greater risk of scarring if made unemployed. It employs slightly more women than men, 53% and 47% respectively. 18% of employees are from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, which compares to 11% from all industries (ONS Annual Population Survey 2019).
  • The sector is a significant source of regional employment, particularly in regions dependent on tourism, including Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Devon, Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Highlands and Islands. (ONS BRES, 2018)
  • Pubs and restaurants will be allowed to have more than 30 people on the premises provided other social distancing measures are still in place. This includes limiting those at a table to groups from a maximum of two households.
  • Large scale social gatherings should not happen - for example, hotels should not be opening their banqueting services.
Published 4 July 2020