The new rules for pub beer gardens when they reopen on Monday April 12 - How to pay, how many people at a table and marques

As the third national coronavirus lockdown continues to ease, beer gardens will be allowed to reopen from Monday, April 12 – Here’s everything you need to know.

Friday, 9th April 2021, 3:15 pm
Picture ; John Devlin. 14/07/2020. GLASGOW. Stock shot of pubs re-opening. People have a beer in a beer garden.

Outdoor hospitality venues, such as beer gardens, will be allowed to welcome customers back from Monday, April 12.

There will be no need for customers to order ‘a substantial meal’ with alcohol and no curfew - although customers must order, eat and drink while seated.

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Here everything you need to know when restrictions begin to lift next week:

How many people can meet

Outdoor gatherings at pubs, bars and restaurants are limited to six people.

Children of all ages count towards the six person limit or more than six people can meet if they are all from two households. Under this criteria a support bubble counts as a single household.

The rule of six first came into play in September last year to limit the spread of the virus.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "We think that these changes are fully justified by the data which shows that we are meeting our four tests for easing the lockdown.”

Two metre rule

Yes, all customers should maintain a social distance of two metres and staff should also be socially distant from customers when taking orders.

Venues should also provide social distance markings to remind customers of this.

Public Health England medical director Dr Yvonne Doyle said: “As restrictions lift and the weather improves, we cannot drop our guard. We’re not out of the woods quite yet.”

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Customers must give contact details

Customers will be asked to scan an NHS QR code or venues will collect information from visitors who do not have a smartphone.

Pubs, bars and restaurants can also refuse entry to those who refuse to check in or provide contact details.

Table Service only

Venues will only be allowed to provide table service where customers will be required to order and pay at their table outside.

Customers will be encouraged to use hand sanitiser as they enter venues and will then be directed to a table.

If it rains, can I shelter inside?

No, unfortunately customers cannot go indoors unless you are using the toilets, baby changing rooms or breast feeding rooms located inside – so you might want to bring an umbrella!

Some venues may wish to put up outdoor shelters but to be considered ‘outdoors’, shelters, marquees and other structures can have a roof but need to have at least 50 percent of the area of their walls open at all times while in use.


Contactless payments at the tables will be encouraged where possible to help maintain social distance.

The government is advising businesses they should only take payments indoors ‘as a last resort’ if it’s not possible to take payment outdoors, for example due to a technical issue and that any customers going indoors to pay must wear a face covering.

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