A popular beer garden in Salisbury is to reopen later in the spring following the Government's lockdown exit plan announcement.

Staff at The Old Mill Hotel in Harnham are getting ready to welcome back customers to the venue's outdoor garden after Easter.

It comes as Boris Johnson unveiled his plan to allow outdoor hospitality venues to reopen from April 12.

Tommy Roberts, Operations Manager at Old Sarum Hotels, said: "We will reopen the Old Mill's garden on April 12 because that's when we can open anywhere that's got an outside area and that's got a kitchen as well so we can serve a full menu and do drinks from outside.

"Then on May 17 we'll be able to reopen both the Old Mill and The Cathedral Hotel.

"For anyone in the hospitality industry those dates can't come soon enough. 

"I would have liked it to be around Easter time but a lot of people were critical of the Government at the last relaxation.

"If it means that by opening this cautiously we won't have another lockdown then it's a wise plan."

According to Mr Roberts, the Government's roadmap out of lockdown looks "well thought-out" and "balanced".

"I like that there will be reviews between each step so that if there's a problem dates can be moved back," he added.

"Would I have liked to reopen early? Yes, but if it means that by mid June we'll be back to near normality then it's worth waiting a little bit longer."

Between now and the much-anticipated reopening, staff at both sites will be undergoing training, both remotely and face-to-face, and carrying out general repair works, maintenance and cleaning.

"I'm looking forward to getting back to work and engaging with my team and our customers and dealing with the day to day running of the hospitality businesses that we've got."

  • When is your business reopening? How do you feel about the lockdown exit plan? Email your views to newsdesk@salisburyjournal.co.uk

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