When are pubs reopening? Date outdoor bars and beer gardens can reopen across UK

Reopening dates for pubs and their outside areas vary across Wales, Scotland, England and Northern Ireland

Lockdown restrictions are now gradually being eased across the UK, allowing a sense of normality to resume after almost four months of stay at home rules.

The easing of restrictions comes following the success of the Covid-19 vaccination rollout, which has seen more than 31 million people in the UK receive their first dose, and the falling number of coronavirus cases.

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But what do the rule changes mean for pubs and beer gardens? Here’s what you need to know.

Pub beer gardens will be allowed to reopen in England from 12 April

When will pubs and beer gardens reopen?

Pub beer gardens will be allowed to reopen in England from 12 April at the earliest, the Prime Minister has said.

From this date, restaurants and pub gardens will be able to serve customers food and alcohol while sitting outdoors, with people permitted to meet in a group of up to six people from different households, or a maximum of two households of any size.

However, hospitality venues, including pubs and restaurants, will not be allowed to reopen to seat customers indoors until 17 May.

In Scotland, pubs, restaurants and bars can reopen for outdoor service from 26 April.

Under the rules, venues can open outdoors until a curfew of 10pm with alcohol permitted, while indoor hospitality will be allowed without alcohol up to 8pm.

Social mixing in indoor public places will be subject to a maximum of four people from up to two households, while outdoor socialising will allow up to six people from up to three households to meet.

In Wales, First Minister Mark Drakeford has said that outdoor hospitality will be reviewed on 22 April, with beer gardens and other outdoor spaces expected to reopen over the three weeks following this date.

Northern Ireland has set out a five step plan for easing lockdown restrictions, although the roadmap does not include specific dates for each phase.

Under the plans, curfews on takeaways and meeting a friend in a coffee shop are among the first stages of recovering for the hospitality sector.

Premises where alcohol can be consumed, with the exclusion of wet pubs, will be allowed to host up to six people from two households from phase three.

Table service at wet pubs will not resume until near the end of this phase, with bar service among the last restrictions to be lifted.

What safety measures will be in place?

Pubs must adhere to Covid-secure guidelines on reopening, to ensure the safety of both customers and staff.

Businesses are advised to spread tables at least one metre apart to allow customers to socially distance.

In venues which serve food, customers should be given a paper menu which can be thrown away after use, and napkins and cutlery should only be brought to diners when their food is served to reduce the risk of transmission.

Self-service buffets will not be allowed and waiters must wash their hands between serving different tables.

Both staff and customers will be required to wear a face covering when they are not at their table, and there should be a limit on the number of people allowed inside at one time.

It has not yet been confirmed if venues will be required to keep a record of all customers who visit before being served, for track and trace purposes.

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