When will pubs reopen?

Vaccine passports in pubs ‘not going to work’ says Schofield

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The UK has faced varying levels of lockdown restrictions for more than a year, with the third national lockdown hopefully now nearing its end. Under Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s lockdown roadmap, restrictions are being relaxed in stages – dependent on data and the continuing vaccine rollout.

Already rules have relaxed to permit Britons to see friends and family in no bigger than a group of six outdoors, whether in gardens or parks.

Organised sports can take place outside, and the stay home message was changed to stay local.

The next phase is due to come into play on Monday, April 12, with a wealth of rule relaxations.

So when exactly can pubs reopen under the lockdown roadmap?

Read More: UK to reach herd immunity ahead of next stage of lockdown easing

When can pubs reopen?

Britons will be glad to hear their local pub can open its doors from April 12 – however not in a conventional way.

Pubs and restaurants will only be able to seat and serve customers outdoors, in beer gardens and outdoor seating areas.

Customers must adhere to the rule of six, and when not seated should wear a face mask.

This means heading to the toilet, being shown your table or just moving around the venue you should wear your mask.

Anyone planning on visiting the pub should be aware customers must order, eat and drink while seated.

Social distancing should also be observed, and one way systems put in place around venues.

Unlike when pubs reopened before, Britons will not have to order a substation meal in order to be served alcoholic drinks. There will also be no curfews in place.

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Pubs will reopen indoors from no earlier than May 17, however, this date is dependent on data which is being continually reviewed by experts.

Indoors the rule of six, or two households, still applies.

From May 17, indoor entertainment venues can also open including cinemas, play areas, bowling alleys etc.

Britons can also stay in BnBs, hotels and hostels from May 17, and some larger sporting venues will allow spectators.

The government will allow some larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full (whichever is a lower number).

Spectators will be allowed in outdoor venues with a capacity of 4,000 people or half-full (whichever is a lower number).

In the largest outdoor seated venues, where crowds can be spread out, up to 10,000 people will be able to attend (or a quarter-full, whichever is lower).

Will I need a vaccine passport to go to the pub?

One potential method for keeping pubs Covid safe is vaccine passports, however, nothing is set in stone as yet.

Those visiting the pub may be asked to provide proof of vaccination, however, Mr Boris Johnson has said the final decision “may be up to individual publicans”.

There is currently a review taking place into how this could work.

For many wanting to attend the pub, this potential restriction comes as a blow, as under the vaccine scheme it will be the end of July before all adults will have been offered a first jab.

What about Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?


April 26

  • Pubs, restaurants and cafes can serve outdoors until 10pm – with alcohol allowed
  • Pubs, restaurants and cafes can serve indoors until 8pm – without alcohol
  • Groups of up to four people from two different households can visit hospitality venues

May 17

  • Pubs, restaurants and cafes can serve indoors until 10.30pm with alcohol allowed
  • Customers will be given two-hour slots
  • Alcohol can be served outdoors until 10pm


April 26

  • Potentially the date for cafes, pubs and restaurants to serve customers outdoors
  • No decision has been made as yet for indoor hospitality venues opening

Northern Ireland

  • No dates have been given for reopening pubs and restaurants, whether indoors or outdoors.

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