The eagerly anticipated day of reopening, which has been dubbed ‘Super Saturday’, saw some pubs open as early as 6am as the easing of lockdown restrictions came into force. As well as pubs, restaurants, cafes, and bars are all allowed to start serving people today, in a bid to kickstart the economy and help the especially hard-hit hospitality sector. However, pubgoers may be disappointed to know that the pub experience has changed drastically in the wake of the lockdown. Express.co.uk has everything you need to know.
How long can you stay in a pub?
How long you can stay in your local pub depends entirely on the establishment and how it chooses to operate.
In some parts of England, drinkers will be limited to two hours in the pub.
Some pubs in Birmingham, Gloucestershire and Bournemouth are only taking bookings for two-to-three-hour slots.
The same goes for a variety of establishments in Peterborough and Derbyshire.
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It comes as the two-metre social distancing rule was cut in half to enable pubs and eateries to let more people in.
The Government has stressed, however, that the two-hour rule is not nationwide and mandatory, but will be up to bosses and landlords.
There will not be blanket time restrictions in place, but managers can ask people to leave at any time.
In addition, most pubs are only taking customers who have pre-existing bookings.
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Some pubs will also require you to order your drinks via an app, while other venues will not allow customers near the bar.
You will also find fewer available seats, which means a longer wait for a table, as some pubs are operating at a 60 percent capacity.
In addition, all venues are being asked to collect contact details from customers to be held for 21 days in case of another outbreak.
The new guidelines only apply to pubs in England and Northern Ireland, as the rules are different under devolved administrations elsewhere in the UK.
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Can you play pool?
Pubs will likely not allow customers to play pool as they reopen, purely for safety reasons.
Pub owners and workers should discourage people from playing pool and darts in accordance with guidance on limiting the spread of infection.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has clarified that permitting customers to play indoor games is not in the spirit of its guide titled ‘Keeping Workers and Customers Safe During COVID-19 in Pubs, Bars and Takeaway services’.
BEIS have pointed to sections of the document which outline that customers should remain seated as much as possible in venues.
Section 2.2 of the guide states: “Reducing the number of surfaces touched by both staff and customers. For example, asking customers to remain at a table where possible, or not lean on counters when collecting takeaways.”
Another section of the document, 4.5, suggests that pubs should discourage any activities which could result in boisterous behaviour.
It states: “All venues should ensure that steps are taken to avoid people needing to unduly raise their voices to each other. This includes, but is not limited to, refraining from playing music or broadcasts that may encourage shouting if played at a volume that makes normal conversation difficult.
“This is because of the potential for increased risk of transmission, particularly from airborne transmission.”
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