REVELLERS could be enjoying pints in pubs again before the end of the month - if plans to reopen bars get the go ahead.

Landlords from several pubs in Furness say they are itching to reopen and could be back in business by June 22.

Reports say original plans to reopen pubs could be brought forward from the first weekend in July to later this month to ‘save summer’ and protect the industry.

Pub bosses said they will be ready to open their doors to a new normal of socially-distanced punters, orders taken on apps and staff kitted out in hospital-style protective equipment.

Phil Simpson, whose Lancaster Brewery owns the Duke of Edinburgh in Barrow and The Mill in Ulverston, said: “There’s nothing sadder than seeing an empty bar.

“We will soon by ready to reopen.

“We want to see pubs buzzing like they were in February.”

Based on how other countries have eased lockdown, he said he expects pubs to reopen in some form on either June 22 or 29.

Mr Simpson said staff would wear protective masks and aprons as part of special measures to keep people safe.

“You can’t have street parties and house parties going on across the week and not open bars,” he said.

“The bars and restaurants of Barrow will be much safer and more hygienic.”

In other safety preparations. a pub in Dalton has installed a see-through screen to allow for safe reopening.

The Golden Ball landlady Jacqui Chisman said drinks would be able to pass safely under the screen and social distancing would be in place inside the pub and in its beer gardens.

“We have been working constantly so that if they do decide to let us open before July we are ready,” she said.

“We feel we will be ready and well prepared to keep everyone as safe as possible.”

Mike Fallon, the owner of the Theatre Bar, which sits in a Cavendish Street now devoid of the usual revellers of pre-lockdown Barrow, said an earlier reopening date would be vital for the town’s pubs.

The former chairman of the Licensed Victuallers Association of landlords said: “I rent out the bar and the sooner it can open the better.

“There have been two families suffering through all of this.

“I know a lot of licensees have been working hard on reopening.

"For some it will be on a knife edge whether they can.

“But an earlier date for reopening would be a great godsend to the industry.

"I know some pubs have really been struggling, even with the money given out by the Government.”

Louise Lawrence, of the Dunes Hotel- and Townhouse-running Lucidity Group, said: “The new management team is working hard so that when we reopen we can be confident that guests and staff are fully protected.”

She said The Dunes is to reopen on July 5.