A further easing of lockdown restrictions will take place today as part of Boris Johnson’s road map out of lockdown.

The Prime Minister unveiled his four-stage plan to lead the country out of a third national lockdown in February.

Stage two starts today (April 12), with people in England able to enjoy a number of freedoms they have had to go without for months.

Today, gyms and non-essential retailers will be able to open their doors once more, hairdressers will reopen and outdoor attractions such as zoos or theme parks will welcome back visitors with new safety measures in place.

The hospitality sector will also receive a welcome boost as restaurants and pubs welcome back customers providing they sit outside.

If you are planning on braving the colder weather to visit your local beer garden from today, there will be a number of rules in place.

Here is everything you need to know before visiting your local.

You need to remain seated

In the same way as the last time hospitality reopened after lockdown, you will need to remain seated at all times once you have been shown you your table.

Staff will take your order from your table and should offer the opportunity to pay for food and drink at your table, or at an outside location.

The guidance says businesses can take payments indoors provided it is a last resort and absolutely necessary.

You don’t have to pay for a meal

The scotch egg debate is thankfully a thing of the past as there is no longer any need to buy a “substantial meal” when ordering alcohol.

Previously, pubs were told they could not serve alcohol to customers unless they ordered food, however this rule is no longer in place.

Curfew scrapped

According to new guidance there will no longer be a curfew imposed on establishments telling them when they must open and close.

Pubs and restaurants were previously told they must close by 10pm due to Covid restrictions in England, however this rule is no longer in place.


Customers will be allowed to go inside and use the toilets, but this number will be limited with just a handful of customers allowed indoors at any given time.

If you need to use the indoor toilets, pay indoors, or pass through to access the beer garden, a face mask will need to be worn at all times.

Carveries can return

Good news for carvery lovers as pubs are able to reopen their indoor carvery counters.

The guidance says venues who do not serve alcohol can invite customers to order and collect food and drink from the counter. However all food must be consumed at a table outside.

Social distancing

Despite the relaxation of rules across England, social distancing rules will still be in place at all pubs across the country.

This will mean that only six individuals from different households or up to two different household will be allowed to meet at one outdoor table at pubs and restaurants.

Ahead of further restrictions being lifted on May 17 if all goes to plan, households are still prohibited from mixing indoors.