Residents of Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and East Lancashire, are now subject to stricter socialising restrictions than the rest of the country after the Government moved to limit the spread of coronavirus in areas with rising cases.
Under the new rules, people from different households are not allowed to meet up in private homes or gardens and must only visit pubs with members of their household.
However, the Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed that people in different households can meet in outdoor hospitality settings. They must maintain social distancing and comply with outdoor gathering guidance still.
Guidance on the new restrictions on the Government’s website states: “In line with the national guidance, you can continue to meet in public outdoor spaces in groups of no more than six people, unless the group includes only people from two households. You cannot meet people you do not live within a private garden.
“At all times, you should socially distance from people you do not live with – unless they are in your support bubble.”
A ‘support bubble’ permits one single-person household to join up with another household and not have to social distance.
Sacha Lord, night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester urged potential pub goers to inform venues if they would now have to cancel their bookings, after the new rules came into effect on Friday 31 July.
He said: “To the general public, I want to make it clear that venues are still open for business and ready to welcome you. Within your household, please try and support your locals and favourites during this tough time. Many are taking part in the Eat Out To Help Out scheme from Monday, and I encourage you to enjoy what our region has to offer, albeit in a safe way.
"If you have a reservation booked over the next few weeks that is now no longer viable, please make sure you cancel or amend bookings to give our operators time to plan ahead and offer them the best chance of pulling through this.”
Lord urged publicans to check their bookings for the weeks ahead. He said: “Please be responsible in advising the two households rule (except where there are bubbles) and ensure good track and trace measures are in place.
“Customers will naturally now be more nervous when dining, so please look to utilise outdoor space to increase capacity and social distancing where possible. Please also consider how you can encourage and incentivise singles, couples and family households into your venues - they will still want to go out.”
The Government advised publicans to "take steps" to encourage customers to follow the new rules.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said of the restrictions: "We take this action with a heavy heart, but we can see increasing rates of coronavirus across Europe and are determined to do whatever is necessary to keep people safe."