When will pubs and bars reopen?

PUBS and bars are currently closed as part of the national lockdown announced on January 4.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a raft of new measures in a bid to drive down surging coronavirus infections caused by the mutant strain.

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When will pubs and bars reopen?

Pubs and bars will reopen when the Government deems it is safe to do so.

In previous lockdowns, this has been when the R rate has lessened significantly across the country, and when the NHS is not at risk of being overwhelmed by Covid patients.

However, it was revealed today that pubs and bars will be one of the last businesses to reopen, with ministers looking at the bank holiday on May 3 as a possible date.

A source told The Sunday Times: “The May Day bank holiday is more likely the moment you see pubs reopening.”

Experts believe people are less likely to social distance once they've had a drink, and therefore want to approach reopening pubs very carefully.

When they do reopen Boris Johnson is planning to scrap the rule saying a "substantial meal" had to be served with the drinks.

Last year the rules around pubs caused chaos as ministers struggled to clearly define what constituted a substantial meal.

The PM will set out a date for when pubs and restaurants can reopen when he announces the plan for ending lockdown in a speech on February 22.

When did pubs and bars close for the third lockdown?

Pubs and bars have been closed and reopened intermittently throughout 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.



March 20, 2020 – Pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants closed shortly before the PM announced a national lockdown three days later


July 4, 2020 – Pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants are allowed to reopen at 6am – apart from in Leicester, with the following rules:

  • Most venues will be taking bookings only, including pubs, with two- or three-hour reservation slots available.
  • It will be table service only, with tables spaced at least one metre apart.
  • Queuing systems will be enforced with one-way arrows in place.
  • Groups of up to six can sit together outdoors but you won't be able to mix with people from another household indoors.
  • Contactless pay will be mandatory in most places and customers will have to leave their contact details with the venue for 21 days so they can be traced if needed.
  • Cutlery and condiments won't be laid out on tables and some venues are even suggesting customers bring their own. Menus will also be limited and there will be no live music.


August 3, 2020 – Pubs in Leicester are allowed to reopen with coronavirus safety measures in place


September 14, 2020 – Rule of six is introduced, meaning people will only be able to meet in groups of six or under indoors

September 24, 2020 – A 10pm curfew is introduced, meaning hospitality venues must close at 10pm


October 12, 2020 – Boris Johnson introduced local Covid alert levels ranging from low to high. Hospitality venues in "high" areas must close


November 5, 2020 – A new, month-long, national lockdown is introduced and pubs are closed until December 2


December 3, 2020 – England exits the four-week lockdown and moves back into the Tier system, which has now been toughened up. Pubs must stay closed in Tier 3 regions

December 20, 2020 – "Tier 4" restrictions are introduced. Regions continue to be placed into the toughest tier intermittently until the new year. Pubs must remain closed in Tier 4



January 4, 2021 – Boris Johnson announces a third national lockdown. All pubs must close

Can I get a takeaway from a pub or bar?

Takeaway pints are banned under the new national lockdown.

However, food and non-alcoholic drinks are still able to be sold as takeaway items or through click-and-collect and drive-through until 11pm.

The new guidance says that all food and drink – including alcohol – is allowed to be delivered.

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