The new Covid-19 restrictions may throw a spanner in the works for your upcoming dinner plans…
It’s the simple things in life that keep us going, like catching up with friends over dinner or going for a bevvy after a hard day of working from home. Turns out, after yesterday’s coronavirus announcement, dining in The Big Smoke may become a little more complicated. London will officially go into Tier 2 Covid-19 restrictions from midnight tonight (October 16) and things are about to change for pubs, bars, cafés and potentially your social calendar.
Under these new restrictions, you cannot meet up with anyone except for your household or support bubble indoors (both at home or in a public place). Therefore, in order to see friends or family outside of those parameters, it must be a socially-distanced, outdoors gathering – which will have a knock-on effect on the hospitality industry.
So here’s the deal: people who live together are free to eat and drink at bars, pubs and restaurants as they please. If you’re one of the lucky ones that lives with friends, you can all go for a meal completely hassle free (assuming there are no more than six of you as the rule of six will still apply). Similarly, you can still dine inside with members of your support bubble!
Conversely, groups from different households and not in a support bubble, will be prohibited from dining inside as of tomorrow. You may be thinking that a simple solution would be to book separate tables and enjoy perhaps the most socially-distanced meal of all time, however table to table interaction will also be forbidden. It is worth noting that venues are being instructed to enforce these new measures, but it is at their discretion how they do so.
The good news is that people who don’t live in the same household or who aren’t in a support bubble can still dine together, just as long as it’s outside! So bars, restaurants, or cafés with terraces, rooftops, or other outdoor spaces are likely to become very popular very quickly. Just make sure you pack a scarf because Lord knows summer is long gone…
Not everything is changing though; the 10pm curfew will continue to apply and you’ll still be expected to wear a facemask when you’re not seated at the table. Table service will also be the only way to order at bars and pubs for the foreseeable future.