Thorley Taverns is banking on outdoor opening in England next month releasing “a cork in a champagne bottle” with pent up demand from people wanting to go out.

Phil Thorley, operations director, of the Kent-based family pub company told MCA’s The Conversation, he was hoping for “a staycation summer”.

With foreign holidays now looking like they would be delayed much later into the year, an increasing number of people would discover the areas close to them at home that they had ignored before were beautiful, he said.

“I think the early signs are that the staycation thing is going to be really big this year and hopefully that may retain some behaviour for later on,” Thorley said.

“All four nations have beautiful parts…and let’s hope some of the local businesses can rebuild using local money.

“Fingers, arms and legs crossed – we are going to have a staycation boom this summer.”

Thorley operates 19 sites, 15 of which will reopen on 12 April outside. “There’s a lot of pent-up demand out there and people want to come back to hospitality.”

Thorley said it felt like hospitality had been “the whipping boys” for the government. He said it was one rule for the supermarkets where he said shoppers did not socially distance and another for hospitality.