What changes can you expect in pubs and restaurants on May 17
- Credit: FRANCIS BARRETO
A further easing of COVID-19 lockdown rules is planned for Monday, May 17, and one of the main changes is that indoor hospitality will be permitted again.
The Government is due to announce one week in advance of this date whether restrictions will be relaxed as planned, so expect confirmation on May 10, but the signs are promising.
What is Step 3 of the roadmap?
Provided the data continues its downward trend, Step 3 of Boris Johnson's roadmap out of lockdown is scheduled to take effect from May 17/
What will change?
Pubs and hospitality will be able to serve customers inside, cinemas and theatres will be allowed to reopen along with other indoor attractions, and hotels and holiday accommodation can open their doors again.
There will still be some restrictions in place, but at least there will be no need to check the weather forecast every time you head to the pub or restaurant from May 17. Table service will be still be required, so you will still need to check in advance, and don't forget to pre-book your table.
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As in Step 2, you do not need to buy a 'substantial meal' with alcoholic drinks and there will be no curfew. However, customers will have to order, eat and drink while seated and wear masks if they move around.
Here's what some local landlords had to say.
Jenny Williams, landlady of the Barley Mow, in Hartford, said: "We have only been opening on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the moment, which I absolutely think was the right decision.
“We have been nice and busy on those days and the minute the sun goes in, I think we all forget that we are British.
“To be honest I have had some really lovely customers in, it has been really lovely to see, all our regulars and some new people.
“For me it is a case of being able to reopen inside because so many of my customers, it is just too cold for them to sit outside.
“Some of them have really tried, it would be nice to be able to welcome them inside again.”
Landlady, Karen Walker, from The Barley Mow in St Neots, said: “We are really looking forward to reopening on May 17 inside.
“We are loving being open at the moment outside, but obviously for pub like us, which is a traditional type pub, the table service is quite hard work, but we do love being open.
“It is lovely to have everybody back, we do wish the weather was a little bit warmer in the evenings, but other than that it is great to be reopened.”
Landlord Francis Barreto of The Three Tuns, in Fen Drayton, said: “We have been so busy, since we have been allowed to reopen our outdoor space.
“We have done 60 % more than we have ever done, this is considering we are only doing outside.
“The thing is for the past two weeks the weather has been warm and dry, it always a bit slow when it rains, but we have been really busy.
“We have already got bookings for the reopening of the indoor space on May 17.
“Our core clientele which is 60 plus have not yet come in as it is too cold for them still.
“But what we have noticed is it has been a dramatic change to our clientele, we are getting more people between the ages of 30 to 40.
“I think they can't really go to the city centres which they were used to, so they are coming more local."
“I am positive that the 60 plus will return when we can open inside, but it’s great to receive this younger clientele.”