Brits revelled in the reopening of pubs this weekend with "Super Saturday" marking the latest easing in coronavirus lockdown measures.
It's thought the reopening of bars, restaurants and other hospitality venues could boost the economy by £3.8 billion within a week of Covid-19 restrictions being relaxed.
However, Boris Johnson has also urged the public not to “overdo it” – and while heading back to the pub is going to be a joy for many, it won't be exactly as it was before lockdown.
So, f you're planning on visiting your local, here's what you need to know.
What can I do when visiting pubs from July 4?
A joint statement from the British Beer & Pub Association, UKHospitality, the London Night Czar and the National Police Chiefs’ Council reads: “We ask pub-goers to be supportive of landlords and pub staff, helping them to reopen in the best way possible. It’s important everyone respects the new measures in place to ensure everyone can enjoy the return of our pubs safely.
“If we all work together we can ensure that the reopening of pubs and hospitality is a success and an enjoyable experience for everyone.”
In a separate statement, Katrina Wood of the Local Government Association, said: “People will understandably want to relax and enjoy a drink or a meal out from this weekend after the lockdown challenges we have all faced during the past few months.
“It is up to individuals and businesses to make sure they act responsibly and safely, including maintaining social distancing.”
In the main, that means complying with the government guidelines, which are as follows:
- Pub visitors will also be asked to give their name to the pub landlord at the door, and sometimes a number too. This temporary record will be kept by pubs for 21 days so those who visit can be contacted if there is a localised breakout of coronavirus.
- One-way systems will be used to ensure people do not cross paths.
- Orders can be taken at the bar, but customers won't be allowed to drink there. Perspex screens will be in place, and staff will be given face masks, and gloves or visors.
- Contactless payment, whether using a card or an app, is strongly encouraged over cash.
- Table service is likely to be commonplace, but in certain pubs, drinkers will have to order from their table too.
- People will be allowed to gather at a social distance in groups of six, with a maximum of two households involved.
- There will be a one in, one out system with toilets to minimise customer interaction.
- Doors should be left open, where appropriate, to reduce touchpoints and maintain good ventilation.
Additionally, many pubs are only accepting people who have booked places, due to lower than normal capacities.
What is not allowed when visiting pubs from July 4?
When visiting your local drinking spot, make sure to avoid the following:
- Drinking at the bar
- Speaking too loudly, as this could increase the chances of oral transmission.
The government guidance reads: "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, including if played at a volume that makes normal conversation difficult. This is because of the potential for increased risk of transmission, particularly from aerosol transmission.”
If it rains, people may not be allowed to shelter inside, according to CAMRA.
In addition, live performances are not permitted, including music, drama and comedy. However, this is not stopping everywhere from doing so, with Boisdale of Belgravia announcing their intention to run live shows from July 14.