PUBS can reopen their doors today (July 4) following a change in government advice.

The venues were forced to close in March after guidelines made it impossible to remain open during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

Large-scale events such as the popular multi-venue music festival, Barnsley Live, were cancelled due to the closure of all the venues in the town centre and beyond.

Now, due to the falling numbers of cases of the virus, and the Prime Minister’s plan for gradually reopening the economy, the announcement was made that venues across the country could begin to reopen as long as protective measures were put in place.

These measures include enforced social distancing guidelines, reduced numbers inside venues, and utilising the government’s ‘Track and Trace’ system.

However, the news has split landlords as some are itching to return and others are warier.

“People have missed pubs and although it’ll be a different atmosphere, I think most will just want to get out for a pint and the socialising aspect,” said Nigel Croft, of the Barnsley CAMRA group.

Some venues, such as the Old Bakery micropub in Mapplewell have chosen to opt for a ‘softer’ reopening to help phase in the new measures.

Speaking on social media, the pub said: “We have decided to do a softer opening on Thursday, July 9, weather permitting.

“This will give us time to see how it’s all going to work so we can keep everyone safe.”

Nightclubs, casinos, tattoo parlours, and gyms will all remain closed until further notice.