East London pub welcomes customers outdoors as lockdown restrictions lift

When do pub gardens open?

Many pubs are already taking bookings for tables outside

Boris Johnson laid out his roadmap “to recovery” for England in February, revealing how he plans to lift lockdown restrictions in the coming months.

The prime minister said the lifting on restrictions is dependent on four tests, including the success of the vaccine deployment programme, evidence that vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations, confirmation that infection rates not surging, and that the assessment of these risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of the virus.

“The threat remains substantial,” Mr Johnson said. “But we’re able to take these steps because of the resolve of the British public and the extraordinary success of our NHS in vaccinating more than 17.5m people across the UK.

“There is no credible route to a zero-Covid Britain or indeed a zero-Covid world. We cannot persist indefinitely with restrictions that debilitate our economy, our physical and mental wellbeing and the life-chances of our children.”

But what does all this mean for pubs? Here’s everything you need to know.

When do pubs reopen?

As of Monday 12 April, pubs, restaurants and cafes are allowed to reopen for outdoor dining in England.

The previous 10pm curfew rule and the requirement to order a substantial meal with a drink will no longer apply to pubs serving only alcohol, but social distancing must be observed.

Customers must also remain seated and cannot order at the bar. The rule of six or two-household rule also applies when meeting up with people from other households at hospitality venues.

Indoor dining for limited numbers of customers will be allowed to resume no earlier than 17 May.

Read more: Lockdown roadmap: What is reopening and when?

When will pub gardens open?

Pub gardens have now reopened in England. Spaces are limited due to social distancing, which means many pubs are fully booked for tables outside for several weeks.

People will not be permitted to actually drink or dine together inside a pub until the next stage of Mr Johnson’s lockdown roadmap, which is currently set for 17 May.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments