From 12 April 2021 at the earliest (step 2 of the government's Road Map), many businesses will be able to re-open, including outdoor hospitality. This means that pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants can open for consumption of food and drink on the premises.


There are no restrictions on opening hours or sale of alcohol, other than any specific planning or licensing restrictions that may apply. Customers are not required to buy a substantial meal with a drink.

The following restrictions apply:

  • outdoor service only (this means that any structure must be at least 50% open to the air)
  • table service only for ordering, consumption of food and drink and payment
  • maximum number of 2 households or up to 6 people from different households
  • social distancing requirements will apply (2 metres or reduction to 1 metre with mitigation)
  • customers to wear face covering when passing through permitted indoor areas e.g. for toilet usage

Safety measures

We expect there will be further guidance and clarification issued over the coming weeks to help determine how the measures and controls will be applied. You must follow our steps to ensure customers and staff are safe during coronavirus.

You should also read our coronavirus guidance for food businesses.

Checks before you open

You should consider the following checks and considerations before reopening:

  • review your covid safe measures and risk assessment, including refresher training for staff, signage and queue management
  • assess how many customers you can safely accommodate seated outside, allowing for adequate social distancing, queue management, ordering and payment
  • make sure you have enough trained staff to manage your customers safely and in accordance with the regulations and guidance
  • make sure your customers understand your rules and maximum capacity - where possible, let customers know this before you open e.g. via social media or your website
  • make sure you have systems in place to take orders and payments at the table
  • if you provide food, ensure your kitchen staff review your food supplies for durability dates, condition and labelling
  • check for any pest activity
  • make sure your staff have the necessary food, safety and covid awareness training. Refreshers courses are recommended for all.
  • carry out a deep clean of your kitchen ready for trading
  • review your menu and allergens controls - it’s recommended to keep your menu simple
  • consider introducing covid testing for your staff

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