Pubs reopening: what are the rules in England?

Pubs reopening

As bars and pubs prepare to reopen, there are rules in place that vary depending on which tier an area is in. Every 14 days, these tiers will be reviewed and amended as necessary. This piece will out outline some of the hospitality rules and requirements that business owners should be aware of ahead of bars and pubs reopening.

Tier one

In tier one, pubs must serve last orders at 10pm, but can remain open until 11pm. This means people are able to leave gradually, as opposed to emptying an entire establishment at once.

Tier two

In tier two, pubs are only able to open if they serve substantial meals. This also means that alcohol can only be served with a meal and establishments are able to ask diners to leave once they have finished their meals.

Tier three

In tier three, hospitality venues cannot open unless for delivery, takeaway or drive-through services.

Other requirements

All hospitality businesses must collect the name and contact details of at least one member of every party of customers or visitors, enabling them to be traced if there is an outbreak. They must also keep records of the days and shifts that every member of staff works, as well as their contact details. Records of customers, visitors and staff must be kept for 21 days, providing this information to NHS Track and Trace if required. It should be noted that this information must be kept and used in a way that adheres to GDPR.

Hospitality businesses must also display an NHS QR code poster, giving visitors and customers the opportunity to check in, using this instead of providing their contact details.

It’s essential for hospitality business owners to implement all necessary requirements, as they can be fined up to £10,000 for breaking any of the above rules, as well as taking reservations of more than six or failing to enforce social distancing.

In addition to this, hospitality staff must wear a mask, as must customers when they are not sat at their table to eat or drink. The penalty for failing to wear a mask, or for breaking the ‘rule of six’ is £200 for a first offence.

For the latest and most up to date information about hospitality business requirements, visit