These are the new pub rules you may have to follow when they reopen

Pubs will reportedly be among the last to see restrictions lifted (Photo: Shutterstock) Pubs will reportedly be among the last to see restrictions lifted (Photo: Shutterstock)
Pubs will reportedly be among the last to see restrictions lifted (Photo: Shutterstock)

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but that does not affect our editorial judgement.

The next phase of lockdown in the UK has been announced, which could see pubs, bars and restaurants closed to customers for months to come

Mr Johnson set out the 'road map' for easing lockdown in a national address on Sunday (10 May), unveiling a three-phase plan to return the country back to normal life.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, these changes only apply to England, as the UK’s four nations have announced their own approach to the next phase of lockdown.

So when will pubs reopen for business? Here’s what you should know.

How long could pubs be closed for?

The UK's journey out of lockdown will be done in phases, with minor changes to daily exercise, travel and work to be made first.

Some changes to lockdown measures have now come into effect across the country, but it is likely to be several months before pubs and restaurants reopen to customers.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Nicola Sturgeon is due to announce a “route map” from the Scottish government for its lockdown exit plan on Thursday (21 May), which could see a timeframe announced for the reopening of pubs, restaurants and cafes.

In England, outdoor cafes could begin to reopen from 4 July, along with public places including cinemas and churches, providing the two-metre social distancing rule can be enforced.

However, pubs, bars and restaurants will be among the last to open, with restrictions set to remain in place until as late as Autumn.

Mr Johnson said: "At the earliest by July [...] we will hope to re-open at least some of the hospitality industry and other public places, provided they are safe and enforce social distancing.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Throughout this period of the next two months we will be driven not by mere hope or economic necessity.

"We are going to be driven by the science, the data and public health."

However, the timeframe for reopening businesses is 'conditional', and will depend on the rate of infection.

Social distancing measures are also expected to remain in place once businesses do reopen.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

What rules could be imposed?

Once pubs reopen, people could be banned from drinking at the bar after making their order, according to new proposals put forward by trade group UKHospitality (UKH).

Further safety measures include patrols of smoking areas, stopping people from returning their empty glasses, limiting the number of children allowed in outdoor play areas, and forming socially distant queues for drinks to keep a safe distance from bar staff.

Restaurant tables will also need to be spaced to adhere to social distancing guidance, and cutlery will have to be brought out to customers with each meal, with condiments provided in individually wrapped sachets.

In the guidance, hospitality businesses clarified that they "do not wish to move ahead with reopening before the time is right" and support a phased reopening approach.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Kate Nicholls, chief executive officer of UKH, said: "UKH is working hard with our members and alongside other industry bodies to develop practical and effective guidelines to enable businesses to begin to reopen safely when the time is right.

"These are draft guidelines that have been shared with governments in England, Scotland and Wales, to help inform their thinking around reopening.

"We hope that the guidelines will help businesses draw up their own plans based on their premises, ensuring that safety is at the forefront of operations when the right time comes to reopen."


Show your support for the incredible work being done by those working on the frontline of the coronavirus crisis. Join our Facebook group and follow the dedicated Instagram page to read stories of everyday heroism and share your own messages.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A message from the Editor

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this website, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you, and stay safe.