Reopening confirmed without 'passport' entry

Outdoor hospitality will reopen across England next week, after the prime minister confirmed the roadmap is on track.

Outdoor hospitality will reopen across England next week (12 April), after the prime minister confirmed the roadmap is on track and planned easements can go ahead.

The government has also stated that visitors of pubs and bars will not have to produce certificates showing vaccination, a negative test or immunity status before entering on-trade venues - a huge relief to the industry's operators. This will also be the case when indoor hospitality reopens from 17 May. 

Outdoor gatherings in pub gardens must still be limited to six people or two households. There is no requirement for a substantial meal to be served alongside alcohol, and no closing time curfew. However, the requirement to eat and drink while seated will remain.

The British Beer & Pub Association has said that while the confirmed reopening news was exciting for publicans and pub goers alike, it was important to remember that just 40% of pubs in England – 15,000 – would be opening for outdoors service from next week, making it all the more important that the government sticks to its roadmap dates to ensure remaining pubs can reopen indoors from 17 May and without any restrictions from 21 June.

It reiterated that those opening from 12 April will almost certainly be making a loss, but are desperate to welcome back their customers and serve their local communities.

Vaccine passports 

While they currently don't affect pub and bar operations, Boris Johnson has confirmed that a Covid-status certification system will be developed over the coming months, which could allow higher-risk settings to be opened up more safely and with more participants.

The system will be developed to take into account three factors: vaccination, a recent negative test, or natural immunity (determined on the basis of a positive test taken in the previous six months).

Events pilots will take place from mid-April to trial the system. 

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