Restaurants, hotels and gyms face up to a future of social distancing
Businesses need drastic changes to reopen once lockdowns are lifted
Visitors to one of the 10 reopened Pret A Manger sandwich shops in London last week were confronted with a very different experience from just over a month ago. Where lunchtime queues would usually stretch out of the door, only five or six people were allowed in at a time. Perspex screens separated customers and staff at till points, while markings on the floor signalled how close people could stand.
The closures of restaurants, cafés, cinemas and gyms are expected to last several weeks, if not months, longer. Operators in countries including the UK, France and Germany have been warned they will be among the last to exit lockdown. Alasdair Murdoch, Burger King's UK chief executive, said the group's "bear scenario" was a 24-week restriction, although he thought 12 weeks more likely.