As lockdown ends on December 2, businesses are gearing up to welcome customers once more during the all-important Christmas period. The Government has tightened restrictions on socialising and non-essential businesses in England throughout all tiers, with much of the country expected to be in tiers 3 and 2.
Are restaurants open in Tier 2?
Restaurants are permitted to open under the new Tier 2 restrictions, however with extra guidance and restrictions.
Venues must ensure they are ‘COVID-secure’ and you will not be able to dine in more than groups of six.
This group of six can only be from one household, as you cannot socialise with those from other houses unless in a park or other public space.
Restaurants must provide table service and must close at 11pm, with last order for alcohol being at 10pm.
According to the Government website, pubs and bars must close throughout the restrictions unless they are serving substantial meals.
Alcohol can only be purchased with a meal.
Under the old tiers, pubs in tier 3 could stay open if they could operate as restaurants, while in tier 2 they could open as normal but customers could not mix indoors with anyone outside their household.
Announcing the amendments to the tier system, Mr Johnson said: “This will be still a hard Winter, Christmas cannot be normal, and there is a long road to Spring.
“But we have turned a corner: and the escape route is in sight.
“We must hold out against the virus until testing and vaccines come to our rescue and reduce the need for restrictions.
“Everyone can help speed up the arrival of that moment by continuing to follow the rules, getting tested and self-isolating when instructed, remembering hands, face and space, and pulling together for one final push to the Spring, when we have every reason to hope and believe that the achievements of our scientists will finally lift the shadow of the virus.”
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The move to restrict and close restaurants has been met with anger by hospitality chiefs.
Kate Nicholls, the chief executive of UK Hospitality, said: ”This a cruel decision and it just feels as if the whole sector is being thrown to the wolves.
“If the tiers had stayed as they were until March, we were already expecting 94 percent of businesses in Tier 3 and 74 percent of businesses in tier 2 to go to the wall. Now we have restrictions that are even worse.
“We make 25 percent of our profits in the run-up to Christmas, and the Government is taking that away.
“This will have a catastrophic effect on a large number of businesses and all those jobs that were furloughed will now be lost.
“You are talking about the prospect of a million job losses and 30 to 40,000 premises closing their doors for good.”
The announcement of the return to the tier system comes alongside the relaxation of rules at Christmas.
Under the new rules, three households can mix over five days – these households cannot change over the period and mixing is allowed in all settings.
Social distancing and face mask advice will also be relaxed within these bubbles.
These ‘Christmas bubbles’ will be permitted across all four nations of the UK, with travel permitted across borders.