BRADFORD CAMRA has welcomed the new “one-metre-plus” rule but says micro-pubs at the “cutting edge” of the industry face difficult times.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Tuesday that the two-metre social distancing rule would be scrapped and that pubs can reopen in a week-and-a-half.

All this will officially come into play on Saturday, July 4.

It is welcome news for many traditional pubs in the Bradford district according to Chair of Bradford CAMRA, Peter Down.

He said: “A lot of pubs were looking like they were really going to struggle if social distancing and closures continued much longer.

“Many indicated, if it continued after July 4, they may no longer be around.

“There always needed to be a relaxing of social distancing because two metres in a pub just cannot work.

“They were always saying it would work if you had got a beer garden, but not many in Bradford have beer gardens.

“The popular ones, in Bradford, Shipley, Saltaire, those areas don’t have beer gardens.

But there are major fears for micro-pubs, which had brought about a renaissance in the industry before the coronavirus crisis and were find much success.

Mr Down said: “The micro-pubs are more or less the cutting edge of it.

"They have the more trendy types of beers so they seemed to be the more cutting edge, popular, modern style of bar which the young crowd like."

Already a number of micro-pubs across Bradford have declared they will not reopen on July 4.

Cap and Collar, in Saltaire, is one such location, revealing the news on its Facebook page and also outlining that when it does reopen it will operate a booking only system due to its "micro nature".

The Cracker Barrel, in Greengates, is looking at August as its earliest possible reopening date.

Kirsty Franks, who owns the popular micro-pub with her husband, said: "It will hit us a little bit harder because people are afraid of the virus and things.

""Generally a lot will want to go to pubs, but I think regulars will go to micro-pubs rather than a bigger pub.

"It's hard, how can we manage people in our pubs that have been drinking - it's hard trying to predict.

"Every micro-pub has its own regulars and there's enough people to go around.

"I think generally people might feel safer going to bigger pubs because they can't social distance here."

Mr Down said: “The issue with newer pubs is, they tend to be micro pubs, the smaller style style pubs, which have limited capacity anyway.

“So even with relaxed requirements, they’re still going to find it hard.

“Even those that do open will only have 60 or 70 per cent of their customer base.

“It’s understandable that some smaller pubs have indicated they are going to wait to see what the situation is and see if they can get to a position to open up or if they need to see if social distancing is relaxed any more.

“It’s a very difficult time for them.”

In a cruel twist of fate, The Cracker Barrel had already planned to install a beer garden before the pandemic hit, which now, in hindsight, would give the micro-pub more flexibility to open.

Mrs Franks said: "It won't be done in time due to legal reasons and things like that, so we won't open because we can't social distance people.

"We only have seven tables.

"We will open when its enough to support us financially and at the same time keep people safe and staff safe."