POPULAR Reading bar Purple Turtle has announced it will not be reopening doors this weekend as pubs and clubs across the UK plan to reopen on July 4.

Taking to Facebook with the update, t he statement yesterday (June 29) read: "We have decided not to re-open this coming weekend 4th July.

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"The media attention on the bar world is going to be intense, and for the safety of our customers and staff, we feel there could maybe too many people trying to get into Reading's venues who have all had their capacity greatly reduced for social distancing reasons.

"Stay safe everyone, see you soon. PT."

Fans commenting on the post are largely in agreement with the statement, with many supporting the decision.

Jazza Crawford commented: "Great move folks. I look forward to visiting again in better times", while Lucy Rose Mortlock said: "Good shout. Personally although my heart would love to go to the pub, my brain says no."

Zora Zora added: "Good choice guys!! Very hard decision but we know all sense and reason can leave the table once the alcohol flows.... "Hard to control that. Hope all is OK guys."

Steve Yates echoed this view, saying: "That’s a very mature decision. Applause from me. This weekend is going to be a people-apocalypse."

Last week, the government announced that bars and pubs can reopen this weekend as the coronavirus lockdown is eased.

Britons are expected to spend £210 million in pubs on the July 4 weekend as they rush back after the coronavirus pandemic, according to new research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

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The organisation predicts that more than a third of UK adults plan to visit a pub in the first week they reopen after the lockdown.

After more than three months stuck at home, drinkers are expected to flock back to pubs in a major boost for the sector's hopes of a rapid recovery.

The think tank said that around 35 per cent of adults plan to return to pubs in the first week possible, with a "substantial proportion" of these intending to go during the initial weekend.

CEBR said it expects around 6.5 million pub trips to be made on the weekend, which is around 1.5 million more than would be the case on a normal weekend.

However, it stressed that a majority of the population "remain cautious" over a return to bars and pubs.

The rush to the pub is expected to result in a jump in consumer spending, with spending expected to increase by 32 per cent over the weekend, it said.

The CEBR report added: "The longer-term outlook for the pub industry may not be so rosy, however.

"Many within the wider hospitality industry had warned that the need for two-metre social distancing rendered a majority of businesses unviable.

"Though the replacement of this rule with a new "one-metre plus" recommendation means that many more pubs will now be able to return to operation, it still represents a considerable restriction for others."

It also said it estimates that average profits for those which reopen to be around 46% of pre-crisis levels, as dwindling sales are eaten up by cost rises.