Details on what will happen post lockdown, from 2 December, has now been announced by the Government.
We’ll be returning to a 3 tier system but with some changes to the rules.
In tier 1 areas pubs can open with the rule of 6 applying to group sizes both indoors and outdoors. In tier 2 areas as before mixing of households is not permitted indoors but additionally alcohol will only be served with a substantial meal. Pubs that don’t serve food will have to remain closed. In tier 3 areas pubs and restaurants will be takeaway only.
South Yorkshire and Derbyshire has been put into tier 3 – this means pubs cannot open, except for take away sales.
In areas where pubs can open table service will continue to be a requirement as will social distancing, wearing face coverings when not seated, enhanced cleaning regimes, giving contact details for test and trace and the rest of the requirements to be considered Covid-Secure. The existing 10pm curfew is replaced by 10pm last orders with everyone out by 11pm
This isn’t looking great for pubs – outside tier 1 the majority of pubs cannot open, this is disappointing as we continue to believe that a well run pub in line with Covid-secure guidelines is the safest place to socialise and the hospitality sector seems to have been disproportionately hit with damaging restrictions and no evidence presented to justify this.
Traditionally December – Christmas party season – is the busiest time for pubs and for many pubs the money made in December is needed to survive the typically quiet January so if pubs cannot open or are allowed only very restricted trading in the run up to Christmas this could cause a lot of pubs to go out of business and close without increased government support. It looks like for pubs and pub-goers, Christmas is cancelled.