PUBS and restaurants will be able to serve customers again from April 12 under plans to unlock England from lockdown.
Boris Johnson confirmed the plan for easing the country further towards normality during a Downing Street press conference yesterday.
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The hospitality industry have been 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 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.
The PM said the vaccine rollout is to thank for getting Covid under control and getting Britain back on the road to recovery from the pandemic.
Speaking at a Downing St press conference, he said: "The net result of your efforts and the vaccine rollout is, I can today confirm, that from Monday, 12 April we will move to step two of our roadmap reopening shops, gyms, zoos, holiday camp sites, hairdressers and beer gardens, and outdoor hospitality of all kinds.
"And on Monday 12, I will be going to the pub myself and cautiously but irreversibly raising a pint of beer to my lips."
But what will boozers look like when they reopen next week, and what are the rules that punters need to follow? We explain all you need to know:
What are the rules at pubs after lockdown?
There will be a number of rules you'll have to follow if you're planning a trip to your local pub.
The good news is that the Government will scrap the hated 10pm curfew and punters won't have to buy a "substantial meal" either when they order an alcoholic drink.
Like before, pubs and restaurants will have to offer table service.
There will be contactless ordering systems in place in many pubs, such as at Wetherspoons, where customers are advised to order using the chain's app.
Face masks must be worn by staff and customers when not sat at a table – for example, when making a trip to the loo.
Pubs will also be allowed to offer takeaway pints, something which was banned during lockdown.
Meanwhile, every pub-goer must now check in with the NHS Covid app to get a pint.
Previously when hospitality reopened in 2020, only the lead member of the group needed to provide contact details to check-in.
This also means that pub-goers will be told to book a test immediately if they sit near Covid drinker in a pub when restrictions ease.
From April 12, customers will only be allowed to sit outdoors with table service.
The Rule of Six was brought back on March 29, which means six people or two households are able to sit together outdoors.
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.
You'll also have to follow social distancing rules and follow any one-way systems in place at your boozer – there will be signs and posters to guide you.
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has ditched plans to force customers to show a Covid vaccine passport when they visit the pub for now.
The PM's change of heart came after an angry backlash from 72 MPs who branded the idea “divisive and discriminatory”.
But he today announced his determination to press ahead with a “vaccine certification” system for larger venues over the coming months.
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.
Like other non-essential retailers, pubs will have to increase their cleaning regime.
What will the chains be doing?
Britain's favourite boozers including Wetherspoons, Greene King and Fullers have confirmed they will be reopening a raft of pubs next week.
Greene King is taking bookings for tables in 442 of its beer gardens when restrictions lift, and Wetherspoons will be reopening almost 400 pubs.
Fullers will be reopening 68 pub gardens, while Young's brewery is taking reservations for April 12 too.
If you're planning on taking a trip to your local 'Spoons, you won't be allowed to go inside except to go to the loo.
Unlike many other chains, you won't be able to book ahead for a table at Wetherspoons – so you may be asked to wait outside until space frees up.
There will also be a reduced menu on offer too, which will include breakfast options, burgers, pizzas, deli deals, fish and chips and British classics.
You’ll be able to grab a bite to eat from 9am to 8pm seven days a week.
If you're heading to your local Greene King branch when it reopens, then you might want to check when kicking out times are.
Some pubs will have reduced opening hours and menus which will be updated on their own individual website.
Although Greene King is taking bookings for tables, the chain told The Sun that people can arrive without booking in advance and will still be seated – although you might have to wait until one is free.
The PM warned his four-step blueprint to lift lockdown can only go ahead as planned as long as benchmark numbers on Covid cases, hospital admissions, vaccinations and deaths have been met.
Within hours of the announcement on pubs reopening, Brits desperate to sip on a pint rushed to book tables for opening day.
The Sun took a sneak peek inside a Greene King branch in Cambridge last year to find out what it would be like when it reopened.
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