When will pubs and restaurants reopen in the UK and what are the rules?

When will pubs and restaurants reopen in the UK and what are the rules?


FROM Monday, punters will be back in beer gardens and cafes and restaurants can re-open outdoors.

The Prime Minister's four-step plan to ease lockdown in England is finally bringing the long-awaited return of the hospitality industry – outdoors, of course.

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The first part of the plan saw kids return to classrooms on March 8, care home residents allowed to receive one indoor visitor and two people being allowed to meet outdoors.

The “Rule of Six” was reinstated on March 29, regarding gatherings in parks and private gardens — allowing six people from up to six different households to mix outdoors.

Now tomorrow, pubs and restaurants can reopen with outdoor service, ahead of indoor service returning in May.

When will pubs reopen?

Outdoor drinking in pub beer gardens will be back on the cards from tomorrow, April 12.

Eating and drinking inside at pubs and restaurants will be off the menu until May 17 at the earliest.

Major venues like nightclubs, theatres, and cinemas aren't likely to open until later in the summer at the earliest.

Mr Johnson insisted that the timeline for businesses to reopen relies heavily on the "four steps to freedom", which includes the vaccine rollout continuing as planned and evidence that the jabs are effective at reducing hospitalisations and deaths.

Infection rates must not overwhelm the NHS and as long as new variants are not a threat, then unlocking the country can continue to go ahead as planned.

What will the rules be when pubs reopen?

The rules Brits need to stick to while taking a trip down to their local are much more relaxed compared to when pubs were last open – but some restrictions will remain in place.

The hated 10pm curfew has been scrappedand punters won't have to buy a scotch egg to get served alcohol.

However, social distancing will remain in place at least until autumn, with measures set to be reconsidered in the summer when more people are vaccinated.

Boozers will have to stick to the “rule of six” limits or be in a party with no more than two households presents, while abiding to two-metre distancing from others.

Pub-goers aged 16 and over have to check in to NHS Test and Trace or provide their contact details to staff.

And there is still no more flitting from table to table or waltzing about the bars – when not seated, customers need to wear face masks, unless exempt.

This is expected to stay all summer as a compromise for the early reopening.

Pub bosses have blasted an outdoor-only drinking plan from early April and have demanded the return of inside drinking.

Industry leaders have backed demands for lockdown restrictions to be fully lifted by the end of April, when most over-50s are expected to have been vaccinated. 

Patrick Dardis, chief executive of the Young’s pubs chain, said that spring rain would make the outdoors-only idea unworkable and slammed it as "nonsense".

Meanwhile, Tim Martin, chairman of pubs giant JD Wetherspoon, said the decision had been made by “ministers with no experience of business, or empathy for business”.

Plus, O'Neill's owner Mitchells & Butlers has warned "a majority" of its venues will stay shut due to outdoor-only restrictions.

What other businesses are allowed to reopen?

From tomorrow, non-essential shops can finally reopen alongside personal care premises such as salons and barbers, and outdoor attractions, including zoos and theme parks.

Under the ease of restrictions, Brits will also welcome the return of smaller outdoor events – the likes of fetes and fairgrounds – as well as indoor leisure and sports facilities permitting individual exercise.

Self contained accommodation can also open up for overnight stays in England, as long as it is with someone from your household or support bubble, though "staying local" is encouraged.

Here is the rest of the reopening plan laid out:

April 12:

  • Non-essential retailers
  • Pubs, restaurants and hospitality allowed to serve outdoor food and drink
  • Hairdressers
  • Zoos
  • UK self-catered staycations for one household
  • Some small outdoor events

May 17:

  • Pubs and restaurants can serve food and drink indoors
  • Indoor gyms and fitness clubs
  • Sports stadiums with a cap on 10,000 visitors
  • Bingo halls
  • Cinemas

June 21:

  • Saunas and spas
  • Nightclubs
  • No cap on the number of guests allowed at a wedding

Staycations could be back in June thanks to the traffic light system, which will grade countries on their covid-risk, according to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

He told the BBC, "This is the first time I'm able to come on and say I'm not advising against booking foreign holidays."

So stock up on your sunscreen people!

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