Face masks in pubs: What are the new UK rules?

28 September 2020, 13:50

Face mask rules in pubs have changed
Face mask rules in pubs have changed. Picture: Getty
Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

The rules on wearing face masks in pubs have changed in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales – here's everything you need to know.

Following a surge of coronavirus cases in the UK, new lockdown measures have been put in place in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Last week, new rules were added by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other UK Government officials, including changes to face mask and face covering usage in pubs, bars and restaurants.

While face masks were only mandatory in shops, on public transport and in small enclosed spaces earlier this month, new laws demand people now use them when visiting establishments in the hospitality sector.

READ MORE: Full list of places you must wear face masks in the UK from today

Boris Johnson announced new lockdown measures last week
Boris Johnson announced new lockdown measures last week. Picture: PA

Do I have to wear a face mask in a pub?

Yes, the new rules announced last week have made face coverings mandatory in bars, restaurants and pubs – unless you are sat down to eat or drink.

Across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the rule remains the same.

On the Government website for England, they explain that people must wear face coverings in "premises providing hospitality (bars, pubs, restaurants, cafes), except when seated at a table to eat or drink".

Northern Ireland's guidelines read that face coverings must be worn in pubs, restaurants and cafes, but they also add: "You may remove your face covering while eating and drinking when seated at establishment".

The Scottish guidelines read that "any premises which open to members of the public and are used for the retail sale or hire of goods or services, such as shops, takeaway restaurants, pharmacies, estate agents, beauty parlours" are required to wear face masks or coverings.

They add that this includes hospitality premises such as bars and pubs and cafes and restaurants "except when an exemption applies".

Wales have also followed suit with the guidelines, as their website states masks are mandatory in cafés, restaurants and pubs "where people are not eating or drinking".

Masks and coverings should be warn in pubs unless you are seated to eat or drink
Masks and coverings should be warn in pubs unless you are seated to eat or drink. Picture: Getty

What are the new lockdown measures for England?

Other amendments to lockdown rules announced by Boris last week were as follows:

- You should work from home if your job allows so

- From Thursday, pubs, bars and restaurants must offer table service only, except for takeaways

- Pubs, bars and restaurants must close at 10PM

- Face coverings must be worn by users of taxis, staff in retail settings and staff and customers in indoor hospitality – exception for people seated to eat or drink

- In retail, tourism and leisure sectors, COVID-19 guidelines will become legal obligations – could see fines or be closed if rules are breached

- Maximum of 15 people can attend a wedding and receptions

- Maximum of 30 people can attend a funeral

- Rule of six extended to all adult indoor team sports

- Tighter penalties for those breaking the rules

READ NOW: Full list of places closing at 10PM from Thursday, from pubs to casinos