Pub rules you'll have to follow when they reopen for outdoor service in April

PUBS and restaurants will be able to serve customers again from April under plans to unlock England from lockdown.

The Prime Minister unveiled his roadmap for easing the nation towards normality in the Commons today ahead of his address to the nation this evening.

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The hospitality industry will be 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 national 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. Here's what we know so far:

April 12

  • Retail
  • Hospitality outdoors
  • Hairdressers
  • Zoos
  • Self-catered staycations with one household

May 17

  • Indoor hospitality
  • Indoor exercise gyms
  • Bingo halls
  • Cinemas
  • Sports stadiums to reopen but capped to 10,000 fans
  • Saunas
  • Spas

June 21

  • Nightclubs

But the Prime Minister emphasised that plans will only go ahead as long as the "four steps to freedom" are met, such as the vaccine roll out continuing on schedule.

With social distancing being expected to stay in place until autumn, pubs and restaurants will have to ensure they are Covid-secure before reopening.

What are the rules at pubs after lockdown?

The Government has scrapped the hated 10pm curfew and punters won't have to buy a "substantial meal" either when they order an alcoholic drink.

Mr Johnson told MPs: "We will begin to reopen our pubs and restaurants outdoors and honourable members will be relieved there will be no curfew and the Scotch egg debate will be over as there will be no requirement for alcohol to be accompanied by a substantial meal."

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.

From April, customers will only be allowed to sit outdoors with table service.

Pubs will also be allowed to offer takeaway pints, something which was banned during lockdown.

The Rule of Six is being brought back, which means six people from up to six households will be able to sit together outdoors. Alternatively, two households will be allowed to meet.

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.

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.

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.

It is not clear whether bars and restaurants will have to keep a record of everyone who visits before being served to help track and trace coronavirus outbreaks.

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 so customers can use them safely, which involved red and green indicators on the entrances to toilets that you can flip around with your elbow to show that someone is inside.

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