Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that restaurants and pubs will be able to reopen across England from 4 July.
But as businesses prepare to reopen their doors, how will the hospitality experience be different for customers?
These are the new rules that customers will have to follow as pubs and restaurants reopen their doors.
What has the government said?
Speaking at the House of Commons on Tuesday 23 June, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Mr Speaker, I can tell the House that we will also re-open restaurants and pubs.”
The announcement that pubs and restaurants can reopen has come after it has been revealed how hard hit the hospitality industry has been by the pandemic.
Business Secretary RT Hon Alok Sharma MP said: “Our pubs, restaurants and cafes are the lifeblood of high streets and town centres across the country and we are doing all we can to ensure they can bounce back as quickly and safely as possible.”
Johnson also mentioned in his speech that the social distancing rule of two metres has been relaxed. He explained that where people could keep two metres apart, they should, but where it is not possible, the advice has changed to “one metre plus”.
He said: “I know this [two metre] rule effectively makes life impossible for large parts of our economy, even without other restrictions.
“For example, it prevents all but a fraction of our hospitality industry from operating.”
What are the new rules?
When visiting a food and drink establishment after they’ve reopened at the beginning of July, you might notice that there are some changes made to the way that they operate.
This is everything you need to know.
One in, one out
The government says that venues should consider adopting a “limited entry” approach to allowing customers into the establishment, such as a “one in, one out” method.Businesses are also advised to use social distancing markers as well, especially where queues tend to form.
Outdoor table service
In his speech at the House of Commons, Johnson said: “All hospitality indoors will be limited to table service, and our guidance will encourage minimal staff and customer contact.”
The government has also introduced new legislation which allows more pubs, restaurants and cafes to serve customers outdoors, such as using car parks and terraces as dining and drinking areas.
The official guidance from the government also states: “Indoor table service must be used where possible.
“Outdoor table service should also be encouraged though customers are permitted to stand outside if distanced appropriately.”
The guidelines state that, where possible, venues should encourage customers to order and pay contactlessly.
Items like cutlery and condiments will also only be provided when food is ordered by customers.
The guidance states that venues should provide disposable condiments or, where that isn’t possible, “cleaning non-disposable condiment containers after each use”.
No loud music
Venues are also told that they should ensure that customers aren’t forced to raise their voices to talk, with the guidelines explaining: “This includes, but is not limited to, refraining from playing music or broadcasts that may encourage shouting, including if played at a volume that makes normal conversation difficult.”
Similarly, venues are not allowed to showcase “live performances, including drama, comedy and music, to take place in front of a live audience”.
Businesses are also told in the guidance that hand sanitiser should be made available to customers, and to ensure that “suitable handwashing facilities including running water and liquid soap and suitable options for drying (either paper towels or hand dryers) are available”.
There should also be clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets, “with increased frequency of cleaning in line with usage”.
Test and trace
The guidance also states that the opening up of the economy is being supported by the NHS Test and Trace.
“You should assist this service by keeping a temporary record of your customers and visitors for 21 days, in a way that is manageable for your business, and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for data if needed,” the guidance explains.
It states that this information “could help contain clusters or outbreaks”.