You'll need to follow these Covid rules as pubs and restaurants reopen in England
People across England are able to enjoy a cold pint for the first time since the lockdown was imposed today.
As part of step two of Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown, pubs, bars and restaurants are welcoming customers back from Monday 12 April.
Hospitality venues will only be able to serve people outside for now, with customers able to have an alcoholic drink without ordering a substantial meal.
But there are certain rules pub-goers have to follow as they visit their favourite watering holes, from mandatory check-ins to how many people can sit together.
The measures mirror the ones people had to adhere to after hospitality venues opened following the first national lockdown last year.
Here is everything you need to know.
What are the rules when pubs reopen?
The UK Government has set out guidance for hospitality venues and customers to follow.
The rules are:
- Customers must follow either the rule of six, or a group of any size with no more than two households present
- People aged 16 and over will need to check into NHS Test and Trace, or give their contact details to staff
- Face coverings should be worn when not seated, like when you are going to the toilet or being shown to a table
- People will be encouraged to use contactless payments
- Payments will be taken at tables outdoors if venues are serving alcohol
- Customers can order and collect food and drinks from a counter at venues not serving alcohol, but must eat outside
- Plastic screens will be put up between tables and at tills
- Disposable sauce sachets will be provided
- Customers will need to adhere to social distancing markings
- They must order, eat and drink while seated at a table
- Venues can put up outdoor shelters, like gazebos or marquees, but they must have at least 50 per cent of the area of their walls open
- Pubs showing sport can use outdoor screens as long as drinkers stay seated and the volume is kept low.
What are the opening times?
Restrictions have changed slightly since pubs were last open in England.
This time around, there will be no 10pm curfew.
Instead, venues will have to follow the existing rules on opening hours stated in their licenses.
You can check a specific pub or restaurant’s opening hours by visiting their website.
What other Covid rules will change from 12 April?
As well as a return of hospitality, other sectors of the economy reopened from Monday, including non-essential shops and close-contact services like hairdressers and nail salons.
Indoor leisure facilities, like gyms and swimming pools, also reopened, along with outdoor attractions like zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas.
The domestic tourism industry has partially resumed in the country, with campsites, holiday lets and other forms of self-contained accommodation permitted to open back up.
Care home residents are also be allowed two regular visitors indoors.
But indoor socialising is still illegal with anyone outside your household or support bubble.
The same goes for international holidays, which may not be permitted until 17 May at the earliest.