In October 2020, following a summer of what seemed like the end of COVID-19, cases of the disease started to rise once again and the Government reinstated lockdown rules and regulations which had not long been eased for the warmer months. The 11pm-turned-10pm curfew was one most Brits were not happy with, as it caused mass traffic and busy public transport following the kick-out time.
From April 12, 2021, England’s hospitality sector starts operating again, albeit outdoor service only, and there will be many new rules to follow.
While some are tighter than previous rules seen in 2020, others have been replaced or scrapped completely.
But what will be happening to the curfew for bars, pubs and restaurants? Will it, along with the ‘substantial meal’ rule be reinstated?
Will there be a curfew for bars and restaurants from April 12?
Punters will be delighted to hear that from April 12 there will be no curfew on how late businesses can stay open for.
Many across the country are already advertising their extended opening hours, with some bars and outdoor entertainment venues hosting events kicking off at 8am on a Saturday morning, continuing until 6am the following Sunday.
Hopefully, this will mean no more crowding on public transport and packed-out streets at 10.05pm like we experienced last year.
Will venues need to provide their customers with ‘substantial meals’ in order to serve alcohol?
Nope, thankfully this weird rule has also been scrapped completely. We wonder why?
Will pubs, bars and restaurants require proof of vaccination from April 12?
Fortunately, there won’t be any need for vaccine passports when visiting venues.
However, proof of vaccination isn’t completely out of the question for Brits, as the idea is still being considered by officials.
A recent Government review stated it could potentially have a role to play in the hospitality sector.
Individual pubs, restaurants and so on could actually choose for their customers to prove their vaccination status.
The government review stated “businesses and other organisations are able to ask customers for proof of COVID status in order to access their premises, as long as they are compliant with equalities legislation.”
Will restaurants ask for any other information when entering?
Diners will be required to all register their details via the NHS app, or a manual system for those who don’t have the app.
Previously, only the person who had made the reservation was obliged to scan the QR code but from April 2021, every single person over the age of 16 will need to.
What are the restrictions on group numbers when dining out from April 12?
Outside tables will be the only ones available, but luckily there are endless options all across the country for terraces and rooftop venues with partly – or completely – covered and heated outdoor areas.
The limit on tables is six people (which could all be from different households), or a table made up of no more than two households (this could be 10 or more people providing they are two households only).
Is it table service only at bars and restaurants from April 12?
At the vast majority of hospitality venues, it will be table service only to reduce foot traffic throughout.
However, certain establishments which do not serve any alcohol will allow customers to pick up their food from a collection point.
Will any indoor access be allowed?
Yes, to a degree. Sitting indoors to eat is still banned and is set to resume from May 17.
However, accessing the outdoor seating area through an indoor area will be permitted, as will going indoors to use the toilet.