How to drink now: the new rules of engagement in pubs and bars in England

ByThe Cocktail Lovers

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It’s been three months since we’ve been allowed to spend time in a bar, pub or restaurant but that’s all set to change tomorrow. Thank heavens… However, things haven’t just snapped back to fit the space they occupied before covid-19 took off – there are certain rules that have to be adhered to. Both by venues and their guests. Be sure to check our list of dos and don’ts regarding the new rules of engagement before heading out – this is socialising but not as you know it.

DO

call ahead to book a table.
Bars are very much looking forward to seeing you but they’re operating at reduced capacity. Avoid disappointment by calling ahead to book your slot.

be respectful.
Remember, this is new for everyone so there are bound to be a few hiccups as we all get our heads round the ‘new normal’. Please help out by playing nice if you’re asked to wait your turn or refrain from getting up close and personal.

take a seat.
It’s going to be table service only for the foreseeable so please, no standing at the bar. Or anywhere else for that matter.

sign the guest book.
You may well be asked to give your contact details. This isn’t the bars trying to get into your business, it’s something they’re required to do for Track and Trace purposes. So if anyone comes down with coronavirus on the day that you’ve visited, you’ll be contacted and instructed to self-isolate.

…respect the social distancing guidelines.
That’s two metres if possible and one-metre-plus if not. What’s that you may ask? We hear you. So do Bacardi who have devised a clever little Snapchat lens which lets you know when you’ve overstepped the mark (literally) as well as telling you when you’re adhering to the required distance. Find out more at bacardi.com #sociabledistancing

…be social but not THAT social.
Sorry to be bearers of bad news but there’s a cap on the number of people that you’re allowed to meet up with when you go out. Again, that’s not down to the bars and pubs, it’s a government order. Be advised that groups of up to two households (including yours) can meet indoors, while you can gather outdoors in a group of more than six people from different households; gatherings larger than six should only take place if everyone is from just two households. Got that? No? Find out more at gov.uk

…remember your hand sanitiser.
But you already know that, don’t you?

DON’T

be surprised if things look a little different compared to bar life BC (before Covid-19).
Perspex screens may be installed, tables will more than likely be more spaced apart and your friendly bartender’s face may well be obscured by a face mask. But don’t let those things put you off. Your bar needs you. Plus, and here’s the thing we’re all waiting for, you’ll still be able to enjoy a bloody good drink.

…be an eejit.
These new rules haven’t been made up by the bars to make your night out difficult. If you’re reminded to social distance, please do so nicely. This isn’t the time to show off your comedic skills.

go up to the bar.
There’s a reason for the tables. Sit back, be patient and wait for your server to take your order. Alternatively, let your fingers do the talking by making use of the ordering apps some bars and pubs have now got in place.

…get overly friendly.
That’s a toughie, especially as we know, like us, you’ll have missed your favourite bartenders and your instinct will be to give them a big welcome back to business hug and kiss. Don’t. Show them your love by tipping big instead.

…overdo it.
Yes, we know you’ve missed drinking in bars and pubs but don’t go mad. The virus is still out there and you don’t want to put more pressure on the NHS by ending up in A&E. As always, enjoy your evening but remember to drink responsibly.

For details of bars open in the capital from 4th July, check out this list from our friends at DrinkUp.London

The Cocktail Lovers

The Cocktail Lovers

The Cocktail Lovers are Mr G and Ms S, a man and a woman who share a passion for cocktails. (We also happen to be married, so we’re cocktail lovers in more ways than one…)

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