Visiting the pub

What is happening

When pubs start opening in July, things will be a little different. That’s because the safety of customers and staff is the most important thing to get right.

Publicans, pubs, and pub chains have worked with the Government over the last few months to find the safest way to open and start serving local communities again. We know it won’t all be the same, but the important bits will be.

Here are a few things you might find a little different.

  • Table service only indoors
  • Providing contact details on arrival
  • Fewer people in the pub
  • Minimised contact (contactless ordering & paying)
  • One-way systems (floor markings & signs)
  • Different opening hours

Here are a few things you’ll find exactly the same.

  • Friendly staff
  • A freshly poured pint
  • Delicious pub food
  • Great pub chat
  • Sunny beer garden (where standing is allowed)

There are also a few things going on behind the scenes:

  • Staff will be screened before returning to work and only come to work if they are well
  • New, heightened hygiene standards including hand washing on arrival and at regular intervals plus regular deep cleaning of all surfaces
  • Fewer staff on each shift with little or no crossover

Every pub is unique, which means they will have different rules in place to keep their customers and staff safe. Here are our four top tips to make sure you, and your pub, have a great visit.

  1. Speak to your local publican to find out what measures are in place and opening times before you visit
  2. Pre-book if you can, and consider going at more unusual times to spread out visits
  3. Respect pub staff and remember that the rules are there to protect you and them
  4. Become a regular, pubs need your support now and across the summer in order to recover

If your local pub is part of a bigger company, they may have outlined their safety measures online already. We have collected links to those pages and put them on the Your Pub page. We’ll keep this page updated as more pub companies announce what they’re doing.

Your Pub


It’s great to have a date when we can open our doors and start serving beer again. The only way for pubs like ours to recover is to get our customers back. We are getting our pub ready by removing some tables to create more space, we’ll only allow half our normal number of customers in, there will be hand sanitizer at the door and we’re going to trial an ordering app. It won’t be the same, but we’ll do our best to make it just as great as ever.

Are, Publican at the Chandos Arms

Guidelines for pubs

The Government recently published guidelines to help pubs reopen safely. As every pub is different, pub owners will assess their premises and decide what’s best to ensure customers and staff are safe.

Rest assured that if your pub is reopening, it is safe for it to do so. Here are a few of the recommended safety procedures that your pub may be implementing to ensure social distancing is both possible and practised.

Groups seated indoors at one table will need to be from a maximum of two households. In outdoor areas, groups of up to six people can meet from any number of households.

Some pubs will implement table service for customers inside the pub. This allows clear social distancing, reduces the number of people in the pub, and allows for reduced contact with staff. It may be that you need to pre-book a table to ensure the pub can seat you. Standing will be allowed in outside areas.

All customers will be required to provide contact details to support the NHS track and trace program. How this information is collected will be decided in the coming weeks.

In order to enable people to get around the pub safely, your publican may put a one-way system in place.

Your pub may look to reduce contact with staff as much as possible, and so may be using a contactless ordering and payment system. They may also deliver in new ways, for example to a vacant table for you to collect from. Where contactless ordering isn’t possible, you may find screens at the bar to protect staff.

Toilets are often the most restricted for space, so special rules may need to be in place for their use (for example, one in, one out). Clear guidance on these will be in place

Every pub will be different, but every pub will make it clear what their changes and rules are. It’s not just about keeping you safe, it’s about keeping pub staff safe too.


We are confident that by introducing extra measures in our pubs, led by the Government guidelines, we will ensure the safety of our guests and teams, while delivering the same great pub experience. We can guarantee our usual warm welcome, delicious food, fresh draught beer and comfortable rooms. We know for so many people, pubs play a key role in bringing communities together. We’re looking forward to doing just that

Kevin, Chief Executive at St Austell

When are pubs reopening?

Every pub is different and will only open when it’s safe and operationally viable for it to do so. That said, each country sets its own requirements and dates for reopening and the current plans are outlined here.


Pubs in England will be able to open from the 4th of July, all outdoor space can be used, indoor can be used provided they can offer table service.

Northern Ireland

The current planned date for pub openings in Northern Ireland is the 3rd of July. This is for pubs with outdoor spaces and those that can offer table service for food indoors.


Beer gardens in Scotland will be allowed to open from the 6th of July. Pubs will be allowed to open from the 15th of July, with exact criteria still to be announced.


The current planned date for pub openings in Wales is the 13th of July. This is for beer gardens only with indoor space to follow at a later date.