Saturday, 26 Sep 2020

Will pubs and restaurants close again?

PUBS and restaurants have been open since July and Brits have enjoyed splashing out on food and drinks and catching up with friends but new coronavirus rules limit social gatherings to six people.

The Prime Minister confirmed the fresh restrictions last night as cases of coronavirus started to soar again.

Will pubs and restaurants close again?

At this point it is unlikely.

Boris Johnson is reluctant to force businesses to close again because of the financial hardship it will cause for many Brits.

The furlough scheme kept thousands afloat while most of the hospitality sector went into hibernation, but that scheme is slowly being wound down so it would be difficult for staff and owners to make ends meet.

It would also slow down the Government's hopes for economic growth as the nation recovers from a long lockdown.

In areas which were put under local lockdown rules, pubs and restaurants have mostly been allowed to stay open.

The exception is in Bolton, where they have been restricted to take-away only, but this was only brought in as a last-resort to try and stem the rising tide of coronavirus.

But ministers are considering a national curfew if coronavirus cases continue to rise.

That would mean pubs and restaurants would have to close by 10pm.

What does social distancing look like in pubs and restaurants?

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said there will be more enforcement of social distancing in pubs after the rise in cases.

The new rules limiting social gatherings to six people are supposed to make this enforcement easier.

As everyone has seen pubs have looked a little different since they reopened.

Many have put up plastic screens over the bar to protect both staff and customers, as well as screens between tables.

People have also been asked to give their name and number if they are going to a pub or restaurant in case there is an outbreak of coronavirus and they need to be contacted by NHS track and trace.

What are the new rules? 

The new rules mean that no more than six people can meet in any social situation.

This applies indoors, outdoors, at home, in parks, pubs and restaurants.

Matt Hancock said this morning: "The changes we are bringing in which will come into force on Monday are that in social settings you can't gather in groups of more than six.

"That's it, really simple."

The rules do not apply to schools, work and special events such as weddings, funerals and christenings.


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