What rules will we have to follow when pubs reopen in April?
- Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
From April 12 we'll finally be able to enjoy a meal or drink outside at our favourite pubs and restaurants.
But what rules will be in place when we return?
Who can I visit with?
Rules on social gatherings will not change at this stage - people will still only be able to meet up in groups of six or as two households.
No indoor mixing will be allowed.
Where can I sit?
The opening only extends to outdoor areas and includes beer gardens and other outside seating areas. For some restaurants this will include car parks, which many have filled with tables and chairs to increase capacity.
- 1 Vehicles worth £50k stolen from Royal Norfolk Show
- 2 Primary school left without governors after mass walkout
- 3 Former professional dressage rider died in four-vehicle motorcycle crash
- 4 Screams of daughter run over by her dad heard by murder jury
- 5 New fishing tackle shop has 'amazing opening day'
- 6 John Bailey: Lord Botham, our cricketing angler/conservationist
- 7 First-time publicans transform their local and are already winning awards
- 8 Blaze sees 20 passengers evacuated from city bus
- 9 Man killed 96-year-old bystander in road rage crash
- 10 Couple who transformed old mill into unique new home put it up for sale
Plenty of restaurants have bought marquees to protect diners from the great British weather. But to qualify as an outside space, it must not be substantially enclosed. For many this will mean having the sides open. So you might not get wet - but may still want to bring a jacket.
In March, the government relaxed rules around temporary outdoor spaces for bars, pubs, cafés and restaurants, meaning they will no longer need to apply for planning permission for gazebos and marquees.
Do I have to order food with a drink?
No - the requirement to order a substantial meal alongside an alcoholic drink will be scrapped.
In autumn, when the tiers system was introduced, people had to order a meal to also order a drink. It was a quickly criticised - and ridiculed - rule, with debate centering on Scotch eggs and whether they passed the substantial meal test.
Will there be a curfew?
No - the 10pm curfew, which was later to changed to 11pm, has been scrapped.
Can I move about the restaurant freely?
Afraid not. Customers will have to order, eat and drink while seated.
And when you are moving about the restaurant - being shown to a table or using the toilet, for example - you'll still need to wear a mask.
And what about social distancing?
Social distancing guidelines remain in place, so tables will be spaced out, many restaurants will retain their one-way systems and capacity will be lower.
Hand sanitiser is likely to be available
Will I need a vaccine passport?
No. The government has said it may consider introducing vaccine certification in the coming months, but those plans are still a long way off.