What rules will we have to follow once bars and restaurants reopen their terraces?

On Saturday 8th May bars and restaurants across the country will be allowed to welcome customers again on their pavement terraces and in their gardens. While indoor drinking and dining remains off the menu, those  of us that wish to go out for a bit of alfresco dinning or to enjoy a coffee, a pint or a glass of wine will be able to do so for the first time for almost 7 months from Saturday. However, a number of rules will be in force to ensure that this can be done in an as corona-safe way as possible.

On Monday evening the protocol containing to rules that those in the hospitality industry must follow once they open their outside space to customers. Surprisingly perhaps is that unlike last year, customers will not be obliged to provide contact details when they go for a meal or a drink at a restaurant or bar. 

These are the rules that you must follow:

You will not need to register, but rather to reserve your table before visiting a bar or restaurant. Customers are requested to do this as far in advance as possible.

Bar and restaurant terraces will be allowed to open from 8am to 10pm.

A maximum of 4 people will be allowed to sit at any one table.

There must be a distance of 1.5 metres between the groups sat at each of the tables.

Table service only. Self-service and collecting food and drink from the bar is prohibited.

Customers and staff must wear face coverings at all times, except for when they are sat down at a table. Drinks and food must be consumed seated.

Customers will only be allowed inside to visit the toilet or to pay their bill.

Terraces must be open to the elements on a least one side. This means that terraces in fully enclosed spaces such as shopping centres will not be allowed to reopen.

Proprietors of bars and restaurants are advised not to place menus on the tables.

Butter pots, salt and pepper pots, jars containing olive oil, bottles of ketchup, vinegar, bread bowls, etc are prohibited. Condiments, butter, and bread should be served in individual portions, preferably pre-packed.

Customers are requested to follow any instructions given by bar or restaurant staff and they should remain at their own table unless they need to visit the toilet.

Music should not be played at levels exceeding 80 decibels. 

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