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What You Can and Can’t Do in a Restaurant From 19 July

What the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions will mean for dining out in London

Four customers tuck into a meal at at table inside Silk Road in Camberwell Ejatu Shaw/Eater London

England will progress to the next stage of its coronavirus lockdown reopening “roadmap” on 19 July, when restaurants, pubs, cafes, and bars reopen in full for the first time in . Here’s what that means for dining out in the city:


Outdoor dining coronavirus rules from 19 July

  • Can people living in the same household eat or drink together at the same table outside?
    Yes.
  • Can people in the same support bubble eat or drink together at the same table outside?
    Yes.
  • Can people from separate households or support bubbles eat or drink together at the same table outside?
    Yes.
  • Can people from separate households or support bubbles book separate tables and eat and drink together at the same time outside?
    Yes.
  • Does a terrace or outdoor area that can only be accessed by first going inside the restaurant count as outdoor dining?
    Yes.
  • Will restaurants or pubs ask for proof of vaccination or any other form of “vaccine passport?”
    No. “Covid status certification” does not exist in the U.K. as yet.
  • Do people have to “check in” using the NHS Covid-19 app?
    No.
  • Is there an extensive map of the best places to eat outside in London, with a handy key showing whether or not the tables have heaters?
    Yes.
  • Is there another extensive map of the best places to eat outside in London when it’s raining, given this island is wet?
    Yes.

Indoor dining coronavirus rules from 19 July

  • Can people eat or drink inside a restaurant, pub, or bar from 19 July?
    Yes.
  • Can people living in the same household eat or drink together at the same table inside?
    Yes.
  • Can people in the same support bubble eat or drink together at the same table inside?
    Yes.
  • Can people from separate households or support bubbles eat or drink together at the same table inside?
    Yes.
  • Can people from separate households or support bubbles book separate tables and eat and drink together at the same time outside?
    Yes.
  • Will restaurants or pubs ask for proof of vaccination or any other form of “vaccine passport?”
    No. “Covid status certification” does not exist in the U.K. as yet.

Dining and drinking from 19 July

  • Does the 10 p.m. hospitality curfew still apply?
    No: it has been scrapped.
  • Do the rules on wearing a mask when not seated at a table to eat or drink still apply?
    Yes.
  • Do the rules on table service only at restaurants and pubs still apply?
    No, bar service will now be permitted.
  • Is takeaway still permitted?
    Yes.
  • Can food delivery still continue past 10 p.m.?
    Yes.
  • Do pubs have to serve food alongside alcohol in order to stay open?
    No. Substantial meals were cancelled long ago.
  • Staff at a pub or restaurant are still wearing masks even though they don’t legally have to, should I scream at them about freedom?
    No. Hospitality workers have borne the brunt of de facto enforcing public health measures throughout this pandemic, including rule of six compliance, test-and-trace registration, and mask-wearing when not seated, with many of them in age groups only just eligible for vaccination. Mask wearing protects both the wearer and those they interact with, so respect their decision.

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