Nights out across Lancashire have changed beyond all recognition since restaurants, bars and pubs were allowed to reopen just two months ago.

From temperature checks on the door of your favourite local to beer gardens even popping up in bus shelters, enjoying a pint or a nice meal has certainly become a more interesting experience.

And with a raft of new measures announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week to help slow the rising spread of Covid-19, there are now even more rules for people to get used to.

The changes came into effect on Thursday and are sure to affect anyone going out for the first time this weekend, reports the MEN.

While many of the new rules were already in place in Lancashire due to local lockdown, areas like Blackpool are now affected after new restrictions were introduced from midnight on Friday.

Here’s what you’ll need to remember if you’re going out in Lancashire this weekend.

Face masks are now mandatory

Until this week, pubs, bars and restaurants have been exempt from the face mask rules that now apply to shops and most other indoor public places.

Now it's mandatory for you to wear one when you go out for a meal or a drink, unless you have a recognised exemption.

People visiting any hospitality business will need to wear a face covering when entering the premises. It'll need to be worn any time you're not at your table, when it can be taken off to eat and drink.

The rules also apply to hospitality staff, who are now required to wear masks while working.

Fines for breaching these rules have now risen to £200 (reduced to £100 if paid within 14 days) for the first offence, and doubling for each offence after.

No more standing at the bar

Pubs, restaurants and bars must now offer table service only under the new measures announced by the Prime Minister this week.

Plenty of businesses had already done so of their own accord - and many have introduced apps allowing you to order from your phone.

For many people, not having to get up to go and get a drink will be a plus - but it'll an adjustment for anyone accustomed to propping up the bar at their local.

There are exceptions to the rule, however.

The 'table service only' rule only applies to licensed premises - those serving alcohol.

That means at many coffee shops, cafes and fast food chains, customers will still be able to order at the counter before taking their food to a table.

The rule also doesn't apply to takeaways, which can continue to serve customers at the counter.

You’ll have to leave your contact details

It's now a legal requirement for restaurants, pubs and bars to take customers' contact details for test and trace purposes.

The government recommended that venues do so when they were permitted to reopen in July, but it was only made mandatory on September 18.

If you're going out, you'll need to give your name and number either when you book or on the door, so that you can be contacted in the event of a Covid outbreak linked to the premises.

Your details will be stored 21 days and may be handed over to the NHS Test and Trace service if necessary.

The law also applies to close contact venues such as beauty salons and tourist attractions like zoos and theme parks will also have to follow the new rule.

The long-awaited NHS contact tracing app was finally released this week and many venues are displaying QR codes that customers can scan to 'check in' on arrival rather than hand over your details to a member of staff.

Kicking out time in 10pm - and last orders are even earlier

Restaurants, bars, pubs and takeaways are now subject to a 10pm national curfew.

Hospitality operating hours will be restricted to between 5am and 10pm until further notice, Boris Johnson announced this week.

That means they must have all their customers out by 10pm, so last orders will have to be even earlier.

Takeaways can continue to be sold after 10pm but only through drive-thru or delivery services.

The curfew also applies to a number of other leisure businesses - although there are a number of exceptions.

What do you think of the new restrictions? Leave a comment below and let us know how you feel.

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