Pub-goers ‘will be forced to wear masks in beer gardens’ by ‘overzealous’ councils

Leah Sinclair
·2-min read
Drinkers urged to support independent brewers (PA Wire)
Drinkers urged to support independent brewers (PA Wire)

Pub-goers will be forced to wear masks in beer gardens in some parts of England as further lockdown restrictions are eased.

From April 12, outdoor restaurants, non-essential shops and pub gardens will be allowed to open to the public.

However, some landlords across the country have been told that they must ensure customers wear masks when they are walking around beer gardens, despite national guidance stating that face coverings are only required indoors.

The rule is being enforced by some “overzealous councils” who have set up enforcement teams to monitor beer gardens, the Telegraph reports.

One notice from Ribble Valley Borough Council told pubs in Lancashire that “face coverings must be worn by customers, except when seated to eat or drink.”

Stosie Madi, owner of the Parkers Arms pub near Clitheroe, reached out to the council to ask if the notice was a “misprint” and whether her customers needed masks outdoors.

A council official told her face coverings must be worn in her beer garden unless her customers were eating and drinking.

Ms Madi said: “You can go anywhere in this country outdoors and do whatever you’re doing without a mask, so why on earth would you need to wear a mask outside in a pub?

“The council said they had set up a task force that will go around enforcing this. For me the worry is, what happens when a task force comes into my garden and sees a customer walking from his table and going to his car without a mask?

“What do they do? Are they going to turn around and penalise me in some way?”

According to the Telegraph, another pub in Rochdale has received the same guidance from its local council.

Many took to Twitter to question Rochdale Council’s decision.

One tweeted: “Dear @RochdaleCouncil Why are you telling a local pub, that its customers must wear MASKS in the beer garden?!”

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Another wrote: “Just a complete joke. Masks outside in a pub garden! When will this end?”

Government guidance states that drinkers must wear masks if going inside a pub to use the toilets or to pay at the bar.

UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said she heard similar orders had been given to other pubs across England, adding that better support is needed for businesses to reopen.

"We need local enforcement bodies to be working to support businesses to help them reopen rather than putting barriers in the way or creating confusions,” she told the Telegraph.

Ribble Valley Borough Council and Rochdale Council have been approached for comment.

Read More

Asylum granted to activist as Government sets out Hong Kong support

Hong Kong families moving to UK to benefit from £43m support package

Pete Bennett shares heartbreaking final photo of ex Nikki Grahame

Regular rapid testing is a vital weapon in the fight against Covid-19