PUBS and restaurants will be able to serve customers again from mid-April under plans to unlock England from lockdown.
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Pubs will be able to serve customers again from April 12, Boris Johnson has confirmedCredit: Alamy
The hospitality industry have been given the green light to reopen to serve food and drink outdoors, as well as takeaway pints from April 12.
From May 17, businesses will be able to welcome punters inside for the first time in months.
It will be a relief for boozers and drinkers who’ve not been able to sip on a pub pint since England was plunged into a third lockdown on January 4.
In areas that were placed into Tier 4 shortly after the second lockdown, the hospitality industry has been closed for even longer.
Timeline for businesses reopening after lockdown
PRIME Minister Boris Johnson has outlined his roadmap for easing England out of lockdown.
Businesses will be allowed to reopen on the following dates, as long as the “four steps to freedom” are met.
- Hospitality outdoors
- Self-catered staycations with one household
- Indoor hospitality
- Indoor exercise gyms
- Bingo halls
- Sports stadiums to reopen but capped to 10,000 fans
The PM said the vaccine rollout is to thank for getting Covid under control and getting Britain back on the road to recovery from the pandemic.
Speaking at a Downing St press conference, he said: “The net result of your efforts and the vaccine rollout is I can today confirm that from Monday, 12 April we will move to step two of our roadmap reopening shops, gyms, zoos, holiday camp sites, hairdressers and beer gardens, and outdoor hospitality of all kinds.
“And on Monday 12, I will be going to the pub myself and cautiously but irreversibly raising a pint of beer to my lips.”
What are the rules at pubs after lockdown?
Like before, pubs and restaurants will have to offer table service and face masks must be worn by staff and customers when not sat at a table.
Pubs will also be allowed to offer takeaway pints, something which was banned during lockdown.
Meanwhile, every pub-goer must now check in with the NHS Covid app to get a pint.
Previously when hospitality reopened in 2020, only the lead member of the group needed to provide contact details to check-in.
From April 12, customers will only be allowed to sit outdoors with table service.
The Rule of Six was brought back on March 29, which means six people or two households are able to sit together outdoors.
From May 17, customers will be able to sit inside but pubs must continue to offer table service.
When sitting inside a pub, the rule of six, or two households mixing, will also apply.
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has ditched plans to force customers to show a Covid vaccine passport when they visit the pub for now.
The PM’s change of heart comes came after an angry backlash from 72 MPs who branded the idea “divisive and discriminatory”.
But he today announced his determination to press ahead with a “vaccine certification” system for larger venues over the coming months.
Pubs will have to continue to use Covid-19 secure measures
What will pubs look like when they reopen?
Pubs must follow the Government’s Covid-secure rules to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus.
Businesses are advised to put up perspex “sneeze screens” between tables so customers can socially distance, although this isn’t a requirement.
In larger pubs, the tables will need to be rearranged so that they sit at least a metre away from the next one.
In places where you can order food, diners should be handed a paper menu that will be binned after it’s been used.
An example of the disposable menus at Wetherspoons which are binned after useCredit: Dan Charity – The Sun
Social distancing signs had been put up around Wetherspoons pubs to make sure people keep apartCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Floor markers also guide customers around the pubsCredit: Dan Charity – The Sun
Sheree Thomas, general manager at the Green King Pub, Fort St George, stands next to the list of pub garden rules after the first lockdown
Napkins and cutlery should only be brought out to customers along with their grub to cut the risk of transmission.
Self-service buffets will be banned and waiters will have to wash their hands between serving different tables.
Like other non-essential retailers, pubs will have to increase their cleaning regime.
Last year, Wetherspoons revealed early on what its pubs looked like with Covid secure measures.
Pubs were kitted out with screen, posters and floor markings to help demonstrate how Wetherspoons will reopen branches.
There were separate exits and entrances, and welcome signs will give further guidance to customers, including asking them to only visit pubs if they feel well.
The Sun was also given a sneak peek inside a Greene King branch, Fort St George in Cambridge, to find out what it will be like.
Greene King even devised a one-in-one-out system for the loos so customers could use them safely, which involved red and green indicators on the entrances to toilets that you flipped around with your elbow.