HOSPITALITY businesses in Malvern have welcomed the news they can begin to re-open next month.

From July 4, pubs and restaurants can re-open as long as they adhere to social distancing.

Landlord of the The Bluebell Inn at Barnards Green, James Grant, said he could not wait to re-open his pub, which has been closed since March.

He said: “We are super excited. We have had so much positive feedback from our regulars who can’t wait to come back to the pub. After three months of everything being locked down, we can’t wait to be back. We have worked really hard over the last couple of years making this place a really good community pub so we were really nervous waiting for the news to be announced.”

Mr Grant said they were waiting to have their social distancing measures signed off by Marstons, which owns the pub, but shared some details of what they were planning.

Measures include running table service and having a no-standing rule at the bar to ensure social distancing is maintained.

He added: “We will be seated-only so we can space people out properly and there will be signage and hand sanitizer placed around the pub for people.

“We are also using recyclable menus that we can get rid of after each customer has used. It is cleaner and greener so better for the environment.”

Mr Grant said they may continue with some of the measures even after the coronavirus crisis is over, saying a lot of it is cleaner and greener.

Chris Morgan, who runs The Cotford Hotel and L’amuse Bouche restaurant in Malvern, said they are confident despite the uncertain future, saying they would have to start again from scratch.

He said: “We came here 13-and-a-half years ago with the intention of turning the place around, and this is almost the same situation.

“We have completely refurbished the inside of the hotel and we have custom-made perspex screens to separate diners in the restaurant.

“It is a challenge for all the hotels and pubs as the confidence needs to return for customers to feel safe spending time in what are essentially other people’s houses.”

Another Malvern pub working on a return is the Nags Head. Alex Whistance, manager of the pub, said they are having discussions with staff and management before making a firm decision on when the pub would re-open, but added the news was “exciting”.

Hotels, restaurants, pubs, cinemas and hairdressers can re-open from July 4 providing they are “Covid-secure”, while theatres and concert halls can open but cannot stage live performances.

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin also welcomed the news, saying: “Local people have done an amazing job helping to restrict the spread of the virus and protect our NHS and now the conditions are right to help more businesses to open and people to enjoy more personal freedoms.

“This will mean also mean our pubs, restaurants and tourist destinations are able to operate and hopefully this will ensure many jobs are saved.

“Many of us will welcome the news that hairdressers are opening up and I’m sure they will be very busy as soon as these new conditions come into force. This advice still requires us all to be vigilant and sensible because the virus still has not gone away completely.”

The Malvern Gazette is running a Love Local Business campaign to encourage readers to spend their money locally to help our traders recover from lockdown.

Our campaign highlights great local businesses by profiling them online and in print.

Campaign sponsors now include Crowngate, Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, Worcester BID, Visit Worcester, Tom Cook Carpets, Worcester City Council and the University of Worcester.

Any business which wants to be featured in our campaign can call Dale Godliman on 01905 742372 or email