Pub rules ditched: Brits can order from the bar again and QR codes check in scrapped from July 1907/05/2021
BRITS can order from the bar again and ditch checking in at the local boozer from July 19 as Covid rules finally lift.
Boris Johnson announced to the nation this evening that “freedom day” will be rolled out as planned in two weeks time.
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In a big boost to Britain’s boozers, social distancing rules will be lifted meaning pubs can let more punters in.
Table service only rules will be axed, which means pubs will be able to serve customers at the bar again.
Plus, you won’t have to check into venues by scanning a QR code using the Test and Trace app.
But while businesses won't be fined for not enforcing the Covid-secure measures, some may choose continue to follow them.
What businesses can reopen?
THE new ‘Freedom Day’ date where all remaining rules should be lifted is July 19.
- Strip clubs
- Shisha bars
- Music venues
- Any other venue still closed
The PM said we must "balance the risk" of the disease from the virus and the harm from continuing with legal restrictions, such as people's livelihoods and mental health.
He added: "And we must be honest with ourselves that if we can't reopen our society in the next few weeks, when we will be helped by the arrival of summer, and by the school holidays, then we must ask ourselves 'when will we be able to return to normal?'
"And to those who say we should delay again – the alternative to that is to open up in winter when the virus will have an advantage, or not at all this year."
In a "big bang" showering of freedoms on July 19, the PM confirmed tonight:
- Hefty fines for refusing to wear a mask indoors will be dropped as face mask laws binned – but coverings will still be recommended for crowded spaces
- All legal limits restricting social contact will be torn up, such as the rule of six or rule of 30 outside
- Work from home guidance will be dropped in favour of firms' discretion
- Pub rules will be binned – with table service scrapped and social distancing ending
- Strict caps on care home visitors will be ditched – but PPE will stay
- ALL adults will now get their second jab after eight weeks, down from 12
- The one metre plus social distancing rule will be binned – except for ports and for people who have Covid
- It means festivals and full stadiums will finally be able to make a return after lifting all limits on mass events
- Covid certificates will be binned – but individual places can still demand them if they want
- Ministers will announce school bubble rules and holiday quarantine updates later this week
- Doubled jabbed Brits will soon escape isolation rules if they are in contact with a positive case
It comes as pubs including Wetherspoons have been forced to close venues at short-notice because staff are being told to self-isolate by the NHS app.
A raft of boozers have therefore been unable to open due to staffing issues, despite desperately trying to claw back cash lost due to the Covid crisis.
The lifting of social distancing measures will also come as good news to pub bosses, who estimated they were missing out on £5million of sales during previous Euro 2020 matches due to the rules.
Mask-wearing will be made voluntary from July 19, meaning punters may not have to wear face coverings when inside a pub and not at their table.
But Brits might still have to follow a number of rules, despite the PM lifting restrictions.
Hospitality chiefs have warned that councillors may aim to keep restrictions in place while people get their second jabs.
Wetherspoons said it "welcomes with open arms any sign of normality", but would be looking into whether to relax the rules.
Nik Antona from Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) welcomes the "much-anticipated return of the authentic pub experience".
He added: "We encourage everyone to support their local and enjoy a pint of fresh cask ale from a local brewery.
"However, the Government must also continue to provide support to our pubs to help them get back on their feet and thrive in the months and years ahead."
What are the rules now?
Until July 19, you’ll still have to stick to the rules in place when visiting your local pub.
These include groups of up to six people can meet up inside pubs, bars and restaurants.
Groups of up to 30 people can now drink together outside, though this may be limited by capacity at some locations.
You also have to stay at your table to get food or drink.
At venues which don't serve alcohol, customers can order and pick up food or drinks (non-alcoholic) from a counter, but it must be eaten while seated.
Many pubs have put contactless ordering systems in place, such as using apps and QR codes for menus and ordering to reduce contact between customers and staff.
Staff have to wear PPE such as face masks and gloves when they are providing service.
Customers have to wear face masks when they are inside, for example when going to the toilet.
You can take it off when you are sat down at your table though.
This applies to everyone apart from those who are exempt – for example, if you have a disability or illness that makes you less able to wear one.
Every pub-goer must now also check in with the NHS Covid app to get a pint.
This also means that pub-goers will be told to book a test immediately if they sit near Covid drinker in a pub.
Social distancing remains in place in pubs, bars and restaurants with signage in place to remind customers.
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