Timeline Of Hospitality Reopening In The UK

UK Hospitality

With the start of outdoor hospitality measures coming into play, many people are still unsure of the opening timelines for hospitality in the UK. Needless to say that all timelines are subject to change as the situation unfolds, but if things stay as they are the UK is looking to be in a really good position to reopen hospitality fully by the UK Summer.


So, to help you better understand the timeline of hospitality reopening in the UK, we’re looking at what dates have been set and what measures will be in place at each stage. Take a look…


Pubs And Non-Essential Buildings Open - 12 April 2021 England, 24 April for Wales and 26 April for Scotland


The first change has already happened and you’ll probably be aware of it as takeaways and pubs are now open! This has been a great change for the people of the UK, and has been very well received. 


On top of this, the government has allowed non-essential businesses to open such as libraries, retail outlets and nail salons. Likewise gyms and leisure centres can reopen with strict social distancing rules that ensure people are kept apart as much as possible to avoid the spread. These changes have been vital to the health of hospitality in the UK, and are the start of rebuilding the industry after a very difficult period. 


Guidelines For The Opening Of Outdoor Venues


On these dates outdoor hospitality venues, including pub gardens, are allowed to open for outdoor sales only, with a maximum of 6 people per party from a maximum of two households.


The rules are still very strict with regards to social distancing and the amount of people per space, however it is a huge step forward for the hospitality industry. Measures such as mobile ordering have been essential in this phase as businesses need to maximise their outdoor space and plan ahead for the future.


This will be the baseline of hospitality venues opening, so it’s important that venues get this stage right in case we have to go back to this point in the future.





Pubs, Bars and Restaurants Can Open Inside -  17 May 2021 in England, Wales and Scotland


The provisional date for indoor venues to open is the 17th of May, where the government has suggested that the insides of pubs, restaurants, hotels, cinemas etc. will be able to open again. Venues will still be table service only, with minimal movement of customers encouraged.


Similarly to where we were in 2020, socialising outdoors will go up to 30 people meeting in open spaces, and socialising indoors is allowed for up to 6 people. All social distancing rules will still apply, and strict COVID-secure measures (such as online check ins and contact tracing) will still apply.


Guidelines for indoor openings


According to provisional government guidelines, venues will be able to have “maximum group numbers of 6 people or 2 households indoors; or in a group of no more than 30 people outdoors”.   


Businesses are being urged to plan ahead and get their processes in order, so that they can hit the ground running as venues open back up.



All Measures Lifted (Hopefully!) - 21st June 2021


All things going well, government guidelines suggest that by the 21st of June 2021 we should be on track to reopen all venues with limited restrictions. Places like nightclubs and entertainment venues will hopefully be opening with no restrictions on social contact.


The government site does caveat that these regulations are “subject to the outcome of the Events Research Programme, and a review of social distancing measures. We will also look to relax COVID-Secure requirements on businesses, subject to the outcome of the reviews”.


Meanwhile, Welsh and Scottish governments have kept more tight lipped about their plans, suggesting that by the end of June they should expect things to be going back to normal but with no clear commitments. The Scottish government used the term “we expect” to be able to remove restrictions by late June, and Welsh governments have suggested that it is "impossible" to give a date for the end of lockdown restrictions, one of Wales' top doctors says.


Guidelines on 21st June


No clear guidelines have been confirmed yet, however the UK government has hinted that life will be relatively normal after the lockdown restrictions have lifted. That said, Boris Johnson has been careful to note that it does depend on the success of the vaccine rollout and the decline of COVID cases in the UK.


When questioned about the changes coming in after June 21, Boris Johnson commented, “I think a great deal depends on the continuing success of the vaccine rollout”. 


As of the 25th April 2021, over 50% of the UK population has had at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, with 19.4% being fully vaccinated.


May 4, 2021

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