In a statement to parliament today, the prime minister has announced that from Thursday, September 24, all restaurants, pubs, and bars in England must shut at 10pm in order to curb a virus that the government has seemingly been advised is more of a night owl than a morning bird.
A month after the government told everyone that eating out was helping out, it now appears that getting out in time for Gogglebox was actually what they might’ve meant all along. Either way, restaurants, pubs, and bars will once again have to twist and turn to survive, all in the knowledge that fines will be given out if the rules are broken and that the furlough scheme runs out in a month’s time.
Like staring boss-eyed into a glass of effervescent painkiller after a big night, there are (occasional) moments of clarity in terms of governmental communication. These are all of the new hospitality restrictions as we currently understand them:
- All restaurants, pubs, and bars must shut to customers by 10pm. This includes takeaway services.
- Delivery services are allowed to operate post-10pm.
- Table service is mandatory in all hospitality venues. Bar service is banned.
- Face coverings must be worn by all indoor hospitality staff, and diners, except when sitting at their tables.
- Restaurants, pubs, or bars caught breaking Covid-secure rules may be given fines of up to £10,000, or be shut down.