What it means to reopen Europe’s bars

Bars, pubs and cafés across Europe are looking forward to welcoming back customers after months of lockdown. For many, it comes not a moment too soon. It will be an emotional moment as friends and families reunite, once again raising their glasses to savour the beers that they have missed for so long.

Different countries have different plans: outdoor terraces in Belgium reopen on May 8; in Austria and France, it will be mid-May; it was last month in Britain; mid-April in Denmark, Portugal and Slovenia; in Cyprus and Spain they’ve been open for a couple of months; while in Sweden, bars never fully closed. For many, there are still no clear plans, particularly for indoor opening.

But for all countries, reopening cafés, pubs and restaurants is a powerful symbol of the start of recovery from the worst that the pandemic has wrought. As bars start pouring pils, lagers, bitters, stouts, IPAs and other different brews, it can help to spark the recovery for the whole European economy – and rebuild society.

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