All the new rules customers in England must follow when pubs and restaurants open on April 12

9 April 2021, 06:35 | Updated: 9 April 2021, 06:42

Pubs in England are allowed to reopen from April 12
Pubs in England are allowed to reopen from April 12. Picture: PA Images/Getty Images
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

Bars and restaurants in England will be able to open if they have an outdoor space from Monday.

With lockdown rules in England easing on Monday, pubs up and down the country will be allowed to welcome punters back.

Boris Johnson announced the nation is moving to the second step of his roadmap, which also opens non-essential shops and the beauty sector.

But as beer gardens open up for the first time since January, what are the new rules for eating and drinking outside? Here’s what you need to know…

Can I go inside?

Pubs, restaurants and cafes will only be allowed to serve customers outdoors from April 12.

‘Outdoors’ refers to private gardens and any other outdoor space, which includes beer gardens, as well as outdoor seating spaces at cafes or restaurants.

Thousands of pubs and restaurants can reopen on Monday
Thousands of pubs and restaurants can reopen on Monday. Picture: PA Images

However, punters will be permitted indoors to go to the toilet or to make a payment if there are technical issues.

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Newly updated Government guidance says staff will be allowed to take payments in doors if card readers stop working outdoors due to poor internet access.

The hospitality sector is expected to reopen fully indoors from no earlier than May 17.

Can I meet my friends?

People in England must follow the Rule of Six when going to the pub, which means they can meet up to five friends from five households.

You can also go to the pub with your own household or support bubble.

Will I have to order a ‘substantial meal’?

Unlike the ‘Tier’ system last year, Boris Johnson has scrapped the rule that customers must order a meal to be served alongside alcohol and there is also no curfew.

What are the social distancing rules?

Table service will remain and customers will have to keep to government social distancing rules.

All customers will also be forced to check in with the Test and Trace app.

The Government rules state: "To coincide with the offer of free rapid testing for everyone, there will be updates to the NHS COVID-19 app in England from 8 April.

"In line with new regulations, when a group enters a hospitality venue, every individual must check either by scanning the official NHS QR code poster with the NHS COVID-19 app, or by providing their contact details.

"Previously, only the lead member of the group needed to provide contact details to check-in."

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