Showers to dampen pub-goers on Saturday as wind and rain hits England

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Pub-goers across England will 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, becoming heavy as the day goes on.

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 Covid-19.

But Saturday’s wet weather means indoor venues could struggle to implement social distancing measures as people may ditch beer gardens and outdoor spaces to move inside out of the rain.

Covid-19 infection rates are believed to be higher in inside spaces.

Met Office spokesperson Nicola Maxey said although the rain will lessen during the evening, low cloud and drizzly conditions will continue through to Sunday.

She told the PA news agency: “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.

Coronavirus – Wed Jul 01, 2020
A protective shield for customers surrounds the card payment machine at the bar of The Mossy Well in Muswell Hill, London, ahead of pubs reopening on July 4 (Yui Mok/PA)

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.”

A spokesperson for Stonegate Pubs, which owns The Slug and Lettuce chain, 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.”

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