Pub rules: How will pubs reopen after lockdown?

Pub rules: How will pubs reopen after lockdown?

June 26, 2020

Pub rules in July 2020 may impose a series of restrictions on Brits returning to their local watering hole for a pint, with the landscape of free houses likely to change. Coronavirus is still running rampant in the UK, at a low enough level for the Government to repeal aspects of the lockdown, but not enough to allow a return to normal. Instead, they are navigating a shaky boundary whereby people can visit the pub, but only under set measures.

How will pubs work after lockdown?

The key to sustaining the decline in COVID-19 cases is social distance -something pubs do not naturally allow.

Most pub goers hope to share the experience, drinking in groups together, but new rules would see this change.

The post-coronavirus pubs will see people adhere to more organised drinks.


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Pubs, bars, restaurants and takeaways will have to follow these guidelines:

  • Reducing surface contact by both staff and customers
  • Working together with other businesses to consider the “cumulative impact” of reopening
  • Lowering capacity, staggering entry or arranging one-way travel to enforce distance
  • Ensuring customers need not raise their voice by reducing background noise
  • Planning for social distance in adverse weather

While the latest guidance may make certain aspects of the pub experience less easy-going, some may streamline it.

People now won’t be able to gather at the bar in a pub, meaning staff will have to bring their drinks to them at a table.

However, social distancing means people can only gather in groups of six maximum, a limit which applies both inside and outside.

Venues will also have to keep a record of who enters to aid contact tracing.

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The Government recently introduced a reduction to the two-metre social distancing rule, which should help businesses recapture lost income.

The previous policy required people to stand apart at least two metres wherever possible, but the new rule introduced by Boris Johnson last week reduced this to “one metre plus”.

The Prime Minister’s change was welcomed by hospitality bosses, who believe it will help them revitalise the suffering industry.

Amongst them is Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, who said the two-metre rule would have been “completely unviable”.

She said: “Reducing the minimum distance will be a huge help to hospitality.

“The two-metre rule would have capped capacity for most venues at around 30 percent.”

“That would have been totally unviable for most businesses and would have risked even more jobs and the futures of venues.

“Reduction to one-metre should see most venues able to trade at around 70 percent of capacity, which could be the difference between failure and staying alive to see out the remainder of the crisis, particularly with added support.”

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