Adhering to safety guidelines will be key as Cumbria's leisure sector reopens, warns a legal expert.

Malcolm Ireland, head of leisure at Kendal-based law firm Napthens, said as hospitality and other businesses welcome back guests on July 4, applying the Government's new guidance will be vital.

Measures suggested include avoiding face-to-face seating where possible, offering table service only, and advising at least one metre of social distancing between customers.

Premises will also be asked to record contact information from all customers who enter the premises.

Malcolm said: “Reducing the social distancing limit to one metre plus will be welcomed by all pubs and owners in the leisure industry as a more manageable way of reopening businesses.

"However, we know that large parts of the public are still wary about the lifting of restrictions.

“Since the measures will take the form of guidance rather than regulation, there will be a temptation for some operators to stop short of full compliance.

"However, adhering to the guidelines will help to instil more confidence in customers that popping to the pub or booking a table at a restaurant is safe.

“For many pubs, that will require a rethink of how the business operates, whether through an ordering app, rearranging the premises, retraining bar staff as waiters and legally collecting data and understanding how to process it in line with GDPR regulations.

“Adhering to all of the guidelines is a tough ask for pubs and restaurants, particularly with less than a fortnight before they reopen, but sticking to them will help regain customer confidence in the long term.”