Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that he is “more optimistic” than he once was about getting hospitality up and running again.

Speaking at yesterday’s (27 May) Liaison Committee evidence session, Johnson admitted that with social distancing measures as they are it has been difficult to accelerate the reopening of hospitality spaces, but that things may be able to move quicker than originally planned.

“On hospitality, we are trying to go as fast as we can,” he said. “It is very difficult to bring forward hospitality measures in a way that involves social distancing, but I am much more optimistic about that than I was, and I think we may be able to do things faster than I previously thought.”

During the session, Johnson also committed to ask SAGE – the independent scientific advisory group – to review whether the two-metre distancing could be reduced to one-metre, with results expected by 15 June.

The comments came just one day after cabinet minister Michael Gove voiced his slightly less positive outlook on LBC Radio.

Speaking on Tuesday (26 May), Gove said that whilst people would be able to enjoy “outdoor hospitality” after lockdown, “it’s going to be more difficult with pubs, restaurants and bars, in full.”

It will be “very, very difficult for us to return to us standing at a bar or any of us mingling in a café indoors in the way that we have in the past,” he said.

“What I hope we may be able to see is people being able to have outdoor hospitality so that you can enjoy in a drink in the garden of a pub or that you could eat outdoors in a café but again we need to maintain social distancing and we’re exploring how we can do that in a safe way.”