OSWESTRY landlords insist they are not getting ahead of themselves after the government announced plans for the phased reopening of the hospitality sector.

On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his roadmap to take the country out of lockdown, and stated pubs should be able to reopen outdoors on April 12, and indoors on May 17.

But the plans have been met with a cautious attitude by many landlords, who wait patiently to find out whether the prospective dates remain the same closer to the time.

Duncan Borrowman, landlord at the award-winning Oswestry pub The Bailey Head, admits he will have to consider whether opening outdoors-only will be viable.

“We’re holding our breath a bit – we hope we will reopen in April,” he said.

“We need to see what the implications are with any ongoing furlough payment for staff and grants as to understand how viable it is to open.

“We need to look at the details for ongoing government support for what will still be a massively reduced capacity in April if we reopen, especially with bad weather.

“We want and hope to be able to open seven-days-a-week but need the details to make a further commitment.

“Our opening hours will likely be shorter given smaller trade during weekday daytimes.

“We also plan to continue the delivery service and reintroduce the takeaway service if permitted to do so.

“In May, if we can open up indoors, we will be hoping to do so at the earliest opportunity.”

The Oak Inn, in Church Street, is optimistic ahead of the proposed reopening of outdoor service in April.

Landlord, Alexia Lewis, says the pub is ready to operate an outdoor-only service, but is looking forward to a full reopening.

She said: “I’m glad we’ll get to open, but we’re a bit gutted we won’t be able to open inside.

“We’re quite lucky with the outside space we have got. We used some money to buy an awning so we have heating and everything ready for when we can be allowed to open outside.

“We’re ready to open on the 12th if we’re allowed to and everything goes ahead. We’re a bit nervous about it because we think it might get pushed back a bit.

“I’m just keeping my fingers crossed and hoping it will be the case. I can’t wait for us to fully reopen and have a bit of normality.

“A lot of our customers want to sit inside and chat to their friends, so that’s what we hope for in May.”

While some landlords remain optimistic, landlord of the Red Lion in Oswestry, Frank Francis, believes any plans for the reopening of pubs remain unclear.

He explained: “Realistically, because it’s supposed to be data-driven, it could be sooner or it could be later.

“So the steps for pubs reopening is still as unclear really. Because they’ve said regardless it should be open outdoors in April, but if it decreases they could potentially allow us to open earlier, or if it increases they could tell us we have to open later.

“It hasn’t really cleared anything up apart from telling us that we’re getting near the end of this all now.

“I don’t think pubs are going to start opening in April realistically – if you have 20 or 30 people outside, what are you going to do if it starts raining?

“I think it’s a combination of the situation they’re in and a conflict of opinions surrounding the right and wrong ways of reopening pubs.

“They can’t really be 100 per cent firm on a decision, because if they do that and then the situation changes, everyone will be screaming and shouting about it.

“At this stage, I just think it is what it is.”