Welcome to another exhilarating round of When Will Lockdown End? Today the government has revealed their hotly anticipated ‘roadmap out of lockdown’, and we’re answering all of your restaurant-related questions. Questions like: When can I sit down with a coffee in the park? When will restaurants potentially re-open? And, why have I started obsessively dreaming about wine bars? Read on for all of the latest intel on lockdown being lifted.
Wait, so is lockdown over?
No, put down your ‘outside clothes’ and leave that bottle of ’seccy in the fridge because lockdown hasn’t finished just yet. But the start of lockdown easing is now in sight with the first changes coming into effect on March 8th.
What’s happening on March 8th?
As well as all the small humans - yes, we mean children - returning to schools across the country, the 8th will also bring back a teeny tiny dose of normal by allowing two individuals from separate households to meet outside for ‘recreation’ as well as exercise.
Right, what exactly does that mean?
Okay, but can I go to a friend’s garden?
No, not yet, sorry. Meet-ups will be restricted to public outdoor spaces. Think local parks and open green spaces. But all of that will be changing on the next big lockdown lift date - drumroll please - March 29th.
Tell me more about March 29th
March 29th is when things will start to steadily shift back to, erm, socially-distanced socialising. So long as you’re not shielding, you will no longer be legally required to ‘Stay at Home’ and you’ll be able to meet up with up to a maximum of six people - or with one other household - in outdoor spaces and private gardens. Yes, the great British BBQ is coming back baby.
But when will restaurants re-open?
The tentative date for restaurants to re-open is currently no earlier than April 12th, along with non-essential retail, hairdressers, and museums. This is dependent on how the first step of lifting lockdown goes, keeping in mind the ongoing threat of variants.
Will I be able to sit inside?
As it currently stands, nope. To begin with, all hospitality venues will only be able to offer al fresco drinking and dining. Although you can anticipate the return of heat lamp hype, you’ll be glad to hear that the curfew has been scrapped, along with the substantial meal rule. Good news for the reputation of scotch eggs everywhere.
When will I be able to sit inside?
Restaurants and pubs will be able to open for indoor dining and drinking when we enter step three, the earliest possible date for which is May 17th.
So we’ve still got a bit of time to wait. I miss restaurants.
Same. You know lockdown has been going on for a hot minute when you start having wildly vivid dreams about sipping Merlot straight from the bottle in a dimly lit wine bar. Despite coronavirus cases remaining high, the UK’s new jab-tastic era of vaccinations is providing a lot of hope that restaurants, bars, and cafés will in fact be able to open on April 12th. In the meantime, you can support restaurants by ordering delivery or a meal kit.
How else can I help restaurants right now?
After a year of closures and yo-yoing restrictions, the hospitality industry is seriously struggling at the moment. If you’re looking to help here is a list of ways you can support restaurants, bars, and cafés from your home.
You didn’t answer my question.
Sorry about that, we’ll keep you posted as more information comes in. Feel free to email us with any other questions.
Covid-19 Response - Spring 2021 - The Cabinet Office, 22 February 2021