One third of operators, or 31%, believe they will be able to reopen by 4 July, according to the latest weekly Hospitality Leaders Poll by MCA Insight/HIM.

And if they do get the go ahead to reopen sooner, one in four (26%) think they can be up and running within two weeks and one in five (19%) could reopen in a matter of days.

Just 16% think it will take longer than the four weeks between now and 4 July.

“We’d need at least three weeks, probably four weeks notice,” said one multi-site operator. “And that would be with full knowledge of trading constraints, like social distancing messages, sanitation, PPE requirements and so on, to get a small number of pubs open.”

But the poll revealed a bleaker picture when it comes to how long it will take for operators to get back to the level of sales they were doing before the coronavirus. Some 43% think it will be at least six months, 44% think it will take longer than 12 months for revenue to return to normal and in the case of multi-site operators alone, that number rises to 49%.

Reopening in a way that reflects predicted safety measures is also a potentially costly exercise, with 31% thinking each site would cost up to £1,000 to prepare, 23% of operators thinking it will cost between £2,000 and 3,000 per site to reopen, and 15% thinking it would cost more.

However, perhaps reflecting the lack of clarity about exactly what will be required with official guidelines still pending, the biggest response at 28% was ‘I don’t know’. One operator said “Without the finalised guidelines on distancing and any mandated addition equipment, it is impossible to know.”