There really has never been a year like 2020 due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. But the current lockdown in England is slowly easing in the coming few weeks. This means pubs and other establishments like restaurants will be allowed to open again.
While there was a period last year where pubs could open many people found the rules confusing. The tier system which was in place also meant some pubs had greater restrictions about what they could and couldn’t do.
To help you ensure you reopen safely for both your staff and customers we have put together this guide. We’ll take you through the important dates you need to know about and look at all the guidance you’ll need to follow.
This date as likely been marked on your calendars for a while. On this date pubs can serve customers outside as long as they are seated when eating or drinking. This is certainly good news for pubs but there are some important rules that must be followed.
The first thing is the number of people allowed. Ideally the government is pushing the rule of 6, which means up to 6 people from any household can meet. Social distancing should still be maintained during this though.
However, currently groups of more than 6 can also meet as long as they are only from two households. Again, social distancing must be maintained during this. When customers aren’t seated this will need to maintain all standard COVID rules.
This means wearing a face mask and maintaining social distancing rules. Many establishments will want customers to sign in with the NHS app as well and Track and Trace will still be in effect. However, unlike last year there is no rule about ordering a substantial meal or currently any plans for a curfew.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t expect individual establishments to have their own unique rules though. And I think it’s likely that some establishments will have different working hours as well. So, to sum up the important parts check out the list below.
- Outdoor eating and drinking is allowed from this date
- Up to 6 people from multiple households can meet
- Larger groups can meet as long as they are only from 2 separate households
- Face masks must be worn when not seated
- Social distancing rules should still be followed
- There is currently no curfew in place
- There are no rules regarding substantial meals
- You’ll still be expected to use the Track and Trace system
The next important date to remember is May 17th. On this date hospitality venues will be allowed to seat customers indoors. Pubs that don’t have adequate space for outdoor seating will likely need to reopen on this date instead.
Parties follow the same guidelines as early which means that up to 6 people can meet up from multiple households. Or larger groups can meet as long as they are only from 2 households. Groups that are seated outside need to be smaller than 30 people.
Rule regarding social distancing and face masks will still need to followed. And things like Track and Trace will still be in effect. Rules regarding curfews and substantial meals will be the same as on April 12th.
This is the currently proposed plan for all restrictions to be lifted. Even nightclubs should be allowed to open on this date. The government will also by this point have announced its rules regarding social distancing.
However, it’s important to remember that things could change without much warning at any point. These are currently the proposed plans and the situation with Covid-19 is still very volatile. Hopefully, things will progress smoothly from this point onwards put always stay alert.
If you’re in Scotland then the rules for reopening are slightly different. The first important date is April 26th bars, pubs, and restaurants can reopen from this date. However, there are some important rules to follow.
Outdoor seating can stay open till 10PM and alcohol can be served. Businesses can only stay open till 8PM indoors though and can’t serve alcohol. Groups of up to 4 people can meet across 2 households.
On May 17th business can open till 10:30PM indoors and can serve alcohol. However, customers can only stay for a maximum of 2 hours. Alcohol can be served outside till 10PM still. The future rules for the easing of restriction haven’t been announced yet. But they likely will be at some point this month or in early May at the latest.
In Wales, all outdoor hospitality businesses should be allowed to reopen from the 26th of April. No rules regarding indoor services have been announced yet. Although the Welsh government have announced they won’t be announcing further easing of restriction till at least the 17th of May.