Boris Johnson has hinted that pubs could reopen in July as lockdown rules are reviewed.
The Prime Minister has asked scientists to review the two-metre social distancing rule to see if it can be reduced in an effort to help public transport and the hospitality sector.
Appearing at the Commons Liaison Committee on Wednesday, Boris Johnson told MPs that members of the scientific advisory group for emergencies (Sage) had been told to review the guidance.
Mr Johnson said: "My own hope is that as we make progress in getting the virus down, in reducing the incidence, that we will be able to reduce that distance, which I think will be particularly valuable in transport and clearly the hospitality sector."
He said that advice from Sage remains that there is "a very considerable reduction in risk at two metres".
The government's three step roadmap to reduce lockdown says hospitality venues could start to reopen from July 4.
When pressed by Tory MP Greg Clark to have Sage review the distance restriction, Mr Johnson replied: "I can not only make that commitment, I can tell you I've already done just that."
Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), said pub jobs could be lost as fewer staff would be needed if the two-metre social distancing advice remained, which many pubs would find "impossible" to implement.
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She said: "Reopening in July will be great for those pubs who can meet the social distancing measures required by then.
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"However unless social distancing restrictions are reduced to the WHO's (World Health Organisation) suggested one metre, two-thirds of pub jobs could be lost.
"It is vital that the Government allows pubs to reopen under those safe conditions in July, so that they can operate at a sustainable level and become pillars of the community once more.
"Under two-metre social distancing rules, pubs will have less space to operate with so will need less staff."