After two glorious weeks of mild freedom, London is officially moving from Tier 2 into Tier 3. Merry Christmas everyone. If you’re wondering what the new restrictions mean for restaurants and your al fresco Christmas party plans, read on for all the details.
What does this mean for restaurants?
All restaurants, pubs, and cafés must close for dine-in service. We repeat, all restaurants must close for dine-in service. Yes, that includes restaurants with outdoor seating.
Right, when is this happening?
Wednesday, December 16th, or as we’re now referring to it, The Worst Hump Day in the History of Hump Days.
When will they reopen?
Short of consulting our crystal ball, we have no idea. The tiers get reviewed every two weeks so London restaurants could potentially reopen on Wednesday 30th December, but that entirely depends on the number of cases.
But… but I had a booking.
We’re sorry, 2020 laughs in the face of plans.
Can I still order takeaway?
Yes! In fact, we have a Christmas Delivery Guide which includes meal kits, mince pies, and plenty of wine to drown your Tier 3 sorrows.
Speaking of booze, can I still get takeaway pints?
Yes you can. Tis the season for mulled wine click-and-collect.
What if I do click-and-collect and then just, erm, happen to eat it outside the restaurant?
We like your thinking, but the guidance states that any food or alcohol purchased from a restaurant can’t be consumed on any part of the premises, including in beer gardens or any adjacent seating. The only exception is motorway services and airports, so if you see us eating a Big Mac just off the M4 you now know why.
Okay, but can I eat at my friend’s place?
Only if you’re in a legit support bubble or Christmas bubble. Otherwise any kind of indoor mingling is a big fat no-no.
But it’s Christmas.
We know. If it helps please join us in humming ‘All We Want for Christmas is the Bloody Vaccine’.
Where can I see my friends?
Well, the good news is you are allowed to meet up to six people from other households in outdoor public spaces, including parks, forests, heritage sites, playgrounds, outdoor sports courts, and allotments. If you’re currently googling local allotment prices, then same. Also, here’s our guide to London’s Best Park Bench Meals and our Christmas Sandwich Guide for socially-distanced al bencho inspiration.
You didn’t answer my question.
Sorry about that. We’ll bring you the latest updates from the government as we get them, but feel free to shoot any and all questions our way at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tier 3: Very High alert - What you can and cannot do in an area in Tier 3 of local restrictions - Department of Health and Social Care, 30 November, 2020
Making a Christmas bubble with friends and family - Cabinet Office, Updated 3 December, 2020
Covid-19 Winter Plan - Cabinet Office, Updated 2 December, 2020