PUBS welcome drinkers indoors again today as the latest lockdown restrictions are lifted.
But rules remain in place like table service and social distancing measures, as the hospitality industry reopens for indoor service.
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It's the first time in months that indoor dining and boozing will be allowed after England was plunged into the third coronavirus lockdown in January.
Pub beer gardens and restaurant terraces opened again on April 12 for outdoor service as part of the staged roadmap for easing lockdown.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that social distancing rules will stay in place in pubs, restaurants and public spaces.
But he has said that we are on track to scrap the one-metre rule next month.
The new rules that start from today mean family members in different households are allowed to hug each other again, and Brits can finally go on a holiday abroad as travel to green list countries will go ahead.
The loosening of rules will give Brits a well deserved taste of freedom.
What are the rules for pubs from May 17?
Indoor dining and drinking is allowed again and more people can meet up in outdoor settings from today.
The good news is that there is NOT a curfew for pubs open for indoor drinking.
And you don't have to order a "substantial meal" either like you did when rules were lifted last year.
Pubs will continue to offer takeaway pints too.
Here we explain the rules for indoor dining and drinking that you'll have to follow at pubs open for indoor drinking.
Rule of six inside
Groups of up to six people can meet up inside pubs, bars and restaurants.
The rule of six was first introduced on March 29 when people were allowed to meet up outside for the first time again.
It's the same rule which applied when restrictions were lifted on April 12 for going to beer gardens.
Up to 30 outside
The rule of six that was in place for beer gardens has changed, allowing for more people to meet up outdoors.
Groups of up to 30 people can now drink together outside, though this may be limited by capacity at some locations.
You'll have to stay at your table to get food or drink, which is the same as the rules from before for ordering outside.
At venues which don't serve alcohol, customers can order and pick up food or drinks (non-alcoholic) from a counter, but it must be eaten while seated.
Contactless ordering systems have been put in place, with many pubs using apps and QR codes for menus and ordering.
This means contact is reduced between staff and customers and keeps everyone safer.
Relaxed limits on customers
There are no limits imposed by the government on how long drinkers and diners can stay.
Pubs, bars and restaurants will have more room to seat people now indoors and outdoors are allowed to open.
But with social distancing in place it's unlikely places will be at full capacity yet, and it's up to each venue whether they set limits on how long you can stay for.
Currently, many pubs have slots of a couple of hours per booking and this may continue.
It is up to a venue on whether they wish to impose a booking policy.
Staff wearing masks and gloves
Staff will continue to have to wear face masks and gloves when they are providing service.
Customers have to wear face masks when they are inside, for example when going to the toilet.
You can take it off when you are sat down at your table though.
This applies to everyone apart from those who are exempt – for example, if you have a disability or illness that makes you less able to wear one.
Check in with the NHS app
Every pub-goer must now check in with the NHS Covid app to get a pint.
Previously when hospitality reopened in 2020, only the lead member of the group needed to provide contact details to check-in.
This also means that pub-goers will be told to book a test immediately if they sit near Covid drinker in a pub.
Social distancing remains in place in pubs, bars and restaurants with signage in place to remind customers.
Social distancing between family and friends is no longer mandatory, though people are being told to remain cautious.
It means hugs with family and friends when you see them is allowed.
What will pubs look like now they can reopen indoors?
Pubs have to follow strict guidelines for keeping things Covid secure.
You're likely to find more space between tables to ensure social distancing and there may be a smaller capacity because of this.
There are signs up around pubs and bars reminding people to stay socially distanced and some may have one way systems to avoid close contact between people.
There may also be barriers or screens between tables to keep separate groups apart.
Signs reminding people to wash their hands and wear a face mask are also likely along with notices about checking in on the NHS app.
Pubs have to clean more often and they will have to provide adequate ventilation and you may find windows and doors staying open because of this.
And music must be kept to a minimum inside to prevent shouting, singing and dancing.
Check out all the businesses allowed to open from today as restrictions are lifted.
There are still some businesses that won't be able to reopen today – here's the full list.
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