Brits struggling to book pub beer garden tables amid mass scramble for April 12 lockdown reopening

BRITS desperate for their first pint after lockdown are struggling to get a beer garden table with hundreds of pubs now fully booked for months.  

Claims on social media suggest some are selling their pub bookings three weeks before boozers open up their gardens for the first time in months.

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Restaurants and pubs in England will be able to serve customers in outdoor seating areas from April 12 in phase two of the lockdown easing.

They will then be given the green light to offer indoor seating from May 17, providing specific Covid conditions are met.

Thousands of punters have already booked slots in their locals but one said he called 20 pubs but “none have any space whatsoever”.

Another customer was furious after not being able to book a table anywhere in London until the end of May.

Adam Bloodworth from London tweeted: “Just tried to book a pub, and can reveal that the whole *pubs opening on April 12* thing may as well be an illusion if you haven't already got a booking!

“I've tried around 20 and none have any space whatsoever.”

It comes as:

  • Children in line for Covid jabs from AUGUST
  • PM risks fresh vaccine row over UK’s ‘greedy’ jab firms
  • Brits may be given freedom to work from home FOREVER
  • No holidays until at least autumn, says Prof Lockdown
  • Should we cancel trip & why can influencers go away?
  • Priti Patel tells worried Brits ‘change is coming’ to travel ban
  • Parents threaten legal action over masks in the classroom
  • Covid variants could be entering UK from France

Carrie Walsh added: “Have discovered that every pub garden in London is actually fully booked until late May.

“What have I been outfit planning for?! Where are us spontaneous and unorganised friend groups supposed to go?!

“I have now discovered that people are SELLING their pub bookings. I'm tired.”

Tom Naden, from Leeds, added: “Is there actually a pub left in town or Headingley that isn't fully booked for the weekend after April 12?”

Fuller’s – which will reopen 183 pubs from next month – said it is seeing a “high level of bookings”.

A spokesperson from the pub chain told The Sun: "People clearly can’t wait to get back to the pub, which is great to see.

"We’ve invested heavily in our outside areas and now we just can’t wait to get our pubs open and welcome our customers back."

Separately, a spokesperson from Young's said they're experiencing "a very good level of bookings".

Rick Stein has also reportedly taken bookings from 20,000 customers for its Cornish restaurants in the last two weeks alone.

It comes as restaurant bosses are set to enforce a "pay-before-you-eat" policy to tackle "no shows" when venues reopen.

The new rules are set to stop diners from booking multiple restaurants for the same night and choosing their preferred option last-minute, wasting restaurants' money and food.

I've tried around 20 and none have any space whatsoever.”

The new rules are set to stop diners from booking multiple restaurants for the same night and choosing their preferred option last-minute, wasting restaurants' money and food.

Young’s and Fuller's are just some of the places accepting bookings already – we’ve got a full round up of how you can book a table here.

Greene King will also reopen 442 pubs from next month, with its booking system open from March 28.

But not all establishments are taking bookings – for example, Wetherspoon and Nando’s aren’t allowing reservations.

Instead, you need to turn up on the day and wait for a table to be free.

Wetherspoon plans on reopening 400 of its pubs from next month.

Punters will have to follow a strict set of rules when pubs and restaurants do open again.

Even for outdoor bookings, boozers must only offer table service and social distancing will still need to be observed.

In better news, the hated 10pm curfew will be scrapped and drinkers won't have to order a substantial meal with their alcohol, putting an end to the Scotch egg debate.

How to beat the post-lockdown rush

IF you’re keen to get a table at a pub or restaurant once they reopen, we explain ways to beat the post-lockdown rush.

  • Book a table early: It may sound obvious, but it's worth booking your table as early as possible. We've rounded up booking rules for the major pub chains, but it's also a good idea to keep an eye on your favourite restaurants' social media channels for reopening plans.
  • Show up: If you're struggling to get a booking, it could be worth turning up at the doorstep on the day. Often restaurants have had "no shows", so they may be able to fit you in.
  • Use OpenTable: The online reservation service lets you search available restaurant bookings based on your selected date, time, number of people and location. Plenty of restaurants also offer 100 points when you make a reservation. Once you rack up 2,000 points, you'll get a free £10 dining voucher.
  • Download the right apps: We've rounded up the apps you’ll need to book tables and restaurants when they reopen.
  • Consider odd timings: If you aren't fussed about the timings, you'll typically have a better chance at getting a table by choosing outside of peak lunch and dinner times.

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