JD Wetherspoon has confirmed its pub estate will start to reopen from 12 April, after the government published its roadmap out of lockdown.
The FTSE 250 operator will open beer gardens, roof top gardens and patios at 394 of its 875 pubs, from 9am to 9pm Sunday through Thursday, and until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays, from 12 April.
It is only reopening pubs in England and with enough outside space to be financially viable.
Customers will be able to enter the inside of the pubs, but only to gain access to the outside space or use the toilets. A “slightly reduced” food menu will be on offer, with people able to order and pay either via its app or by table service.
John Hutson, chief executive, said: “We look forward to welcoming our customers and staff back to our pubs.”
The government announced last month a gradual lifting for lockdown restrictions. The hospitality sector will be first allowed to partially reopen from 12 April, but only for outside space. Indoor trading will not be allowed until 17 May at the earliest.
Assuming the ongoing success of the vaccination programme, the government plan is for all Covid-related restrictions to have been lifted by 21 June.