Great Britain

Pubs WITHOUT a beer garden can still reopen on April 12 in lockdown loophole

PUBS without beer gardens can still reopen on April 12 thanks to a loophole in the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Thirsty Brits will be able to enjoy drinks at many more venues from tomorrow as they can be served in any outdoor area, such as a carpark.

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Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes can utilise any outdoor space available to them as a makeshift drinking and dining area - an initiative first mooted last June. 

And there will be no need for customers to order a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks - but punters must order, eat and drink while seated.

When the policy was first announced, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: "I know we all look forward to seeing our pubs, cafes and restaurants open their doors again and I'm determined to give them a helping hand to get back on their feet and their staff back to work safely.

"That's why we are introducing changes to make it quicker, easier and cheaper for them to set up outdoor seating and street stalls to serve food and drink."

Venues without outdoor areas can serve takeaway pints until they can fully reopen in May.

The reopening of hospitality is being fast-tracked in a major boost to the blighted sector - and thirsty Brits - as part of the Prime Minister's four-step plan.

The first part saw kids return to classrooms on March 8, with the 'stay home' and 'stay local' messages scrapped a few weeks later.

Outdoor gatherings of up to six people - or two households - were permitted from March 29.

Hospitality had initially been pencilled in for reopening in May, but this has been brought forward under the outdoor rules.

Indoor service should return from May 17.

From April 12, every pub-goer must check-in with the NHS Covid app to get a pint.

Previously when hospitality reopened in 2020, only the lead member of the group needed to provide contact details.

And punters will be told to book a test immediately if they sit near a Covid-positive drinker in a pub - regardless of whether they have symptoms or not.

Boozy Brits can find their nearest pub or restaurant opening for outdoor service in April using a new free tool.

Postcode checker Catch Me Outside will even tell you if there's undercover seating or outdoor heating to help you decide where to go.

But if you don't live close to a venue reopening for sit-down service, takeaway pints will also be available.


The move was branded a lifeline by some hospitality chiefs.

Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality chief executive, said: "This is great news for pubs. Businesses are going to be severely restricted, most likely trading at a loss, until the restrictions are lifted in June.

"Allowing takeaway alcohol will be a vital lifeline for many and could be the difference between survival and failure.

"Almost 60 per cent of pubs have no outdoor space so they won't be able to open in April.

"Takeaway is going to be their only source of income until May."

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said the Government was prioritising re-opening the hospitality sector because it is the "lifeblood of high streets and town centres across the country".

Another lockdown loophole Brits have been making the most of is being allowed to go inside a friend or family member's home for three different reasons.

Under new rules, Brits can venture inside somebody else's house - but only briefly to use the toilet, get a drink of water or to access their garden.

The same rules will apply to toilets when pubs gardens reopen tomorrow.

Wetherspoons to reopen almost 400 pubs in April

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