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Coronavirus (COVID-19) - bars, pubs and restaurants re-opening

Since Saturday 4 July 2020, lockdown restrictions have been eased, with bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants open.

You can meet up with people from outside your household in pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants, though you must continue to adhere to social distancing by following the Government’s ‘one metre plus’ rule. When eating or drinking out with people you do not live with, you should only meet one other household if you are seating indoors. If you are eating or drinking outdoors, you can meet in a group of up to six people from different households.

You are advised to check the website of pubs, bars and restaurants you are planning on attending in advance, as you may need to book a table or register your attendance in advance.

Procedures for entering, leaving and ordering food and drinks may be different.

There are likely to be changes to the layout, so that the social distancing rule can be enforced. There may be screens up at bars to protect both staff and customers. There will also be a limit on how many customers will be allowed in at a time, and individual premises may have a time limit on how long you are able to stay for.

If you are planning on going out, please drink responsibly, and remember to continue to follow the necessary precautions to keep yourself and those around you as safe as possible.

It is imperative that we all continue to work together to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

The government’s social distancing policy ‘one metre-plus’ recommends that you can be a minimum of a metre away from those who do not live in your household if you are following additional measures to limit the transmission of the virus. This includes wearing a face covering, sitting behind screens in pubs, bars and restaurants, not directly facing anyone and being stringent with hand washing and sanitising. It is still safest to keep to the two-metre social distancing rule where possible.

 Excessive drinking
Going out and drinking alcohol
Did you know?
General advice for a night out
Drinking and driving


Excessive drinking could

  • Increase the likelihood of you committing a crime.
  • Result in you being handed an £80 fine by police officers or spending a night in the cells.
  • Result in serious injury or death.
  • Increase the likelihood of spreading COVID-19, as you are more likely to disregard the social distancing rules.

Going out and drinking alcohol

  • Leave the car at home and use public transport or book a licensed taxi.
  • Use a taxi marshalling scheme if there's one in your town.
  • Know your limits and drink sensibly. Stop when you know you have had enough.
  • Make sure you and your friends all look after one another and all get home safely.
  • Avoid confrontation – walk away instead.

Did you know? 

  • You can get an £80 fine for urinating in the street.
  • Participating in anti-social behaviour while drunk, such as getting involved in a fight, could land you a criminal record and result in you losing your job, or harm your future employment prospects.
  • You’re less in control if you’re drunk and more vulnerable to being a victim of crime. Being less in control also means you’re more likely to break the social distancing rules and put yourself, your friends and your family at risk of contracting COVID-19.
  • It takes you longer to react so you could be knocked down in a road traffic collision.

General advice for a night out

  • Never leave your drinks unattended.
  • Remember that alcohol and drugs can affect your ability to make safe judgments and can make you vulnerable. Know your limits and drink sensibly. Stop when you know you have had enough.
  • You can still enjoy alcohol but it is important to drink responsibly and stay safe. Alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks, or drink beverages with a lower alcohol percentage. Drink more slowly and make sure you eat before going out.
  • Be cautious of accepting drinks from someone you’ve just met, or accepting a drink that you haven’t seen being poured and paid for.
  • Do not drink alcohol if you are driving.
  • We do not want people’s lives to be ruined by the dangers of drugs. Officers work closely with licensed premises to intercept illegal and harmful substances.
  • If you feel unwell contact staff or security immediately.

Drinking and driving

  • If you are caught behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol you could face a minimum of a 12-month disqualification, as well as a fine and/or imprisonment.
  • The offence of causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs now carries a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment and a disqualification of at least two years.

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