The new rules for wearing face masks in pubs and restaurants

As coronavirus restrictions tighten across the UK, the Government have announced new rules regarding the wearing of face coverings in hospitality settings.

Wednesday, 23rd September 2020, 12:05 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd September 2020, 12:06 pm

The wearing of face coverings have been compulsory on public transport since June and in shops since July in an attempt to reduce the rate of Covid transmission.

This was extended to include cinemas, museums and places of worship in August with the hospitality sector remaining exempt, until now.

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A barmaid walks past as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a televised address to the nation inside the Westminster Arms pub on September 22, 2020 (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)

What are the new rules?

From Thursday, September 24, pubs bars and restaurants must operate with table service only and staff and customers must wear face coverings indoors unless they are sat at a table to eat or drink.

This means if customers are moving around the venue they should be wearing a mask.

In addition, all hospitality venues must close by 10pm at the latest.

Who is exempt?

Takeaways will be able to remain open past 10pm but on a delivery only basis.

People with a medical exemption will not be required to wear a face-covering in any setting.

What has the Government said?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced: "We will extend the requirement to wear face masks to staff in retail, all users of taxis and private hire vehicles, and staff and customers in indoor hospitality except when seated at a table to eat and drink.

The new guidelines set out by the Government will be enforceable by law and businesses found to be breaking the rules will be fined and could be closed down.

How long will the restrictions remain in place?

The Prime Minister said: “We should assume that the restrictions that I have announced will remain in place for perhaps six months.”

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