Where do local lockdowns impact pubs?

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Local measures: people cannot meet up for a drink with friends in some parts of the country
Local measures: people cannot meet up for a drink with friends in some parts of the country

Related tags: Coronavirus, Legislation, lockdown, Health and safety

Certain parts of the country are subject to different rules on socialising – how does this impact trips to pubs?

Heavy restrictions on social contact were imposed on the north east last night (Monday 28 September), with households banned from meeting up in any indoor setting from Wednesday (30 September). 

Affected areas are Northumberland, North and South Tyneside, Gateshead, Newcastle, Sunderland and County Durham.

What's more, restrictions were announced for Liverpool, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough on Thursday 1 October. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he would take action "to prevent in law social mixing between people in different households in all settings except outdoor public spaces like parks and outdoor hospitality."

It comes after pubs across England, Scotland and Wales have seen restrictions tighten in recent weeks, with national regulations including curfews and face covering requirements.

For large parts of England, meeting up in private homes or gardens is banned. 

One operator in Birmingham told the The Morning Advertiser ​(The MA​) she was not optimistic this would increase the number of visits to her pubs in the city.

In other areas, such as Blackburn with Darwen, Lancashire, and the City of Manchester, hospitality venues have been told​ they “should also take steps to ensure that people do not socialise outside of their households inside and outside your premises."

Residents in parts of Wales are also not allowed to leave their local area without a “reasonable excuse” such as to travel to work or school. 

Operators have told The MA​ this has resulted in cancelled room bookings and a drop in regulars who live on the other side of authority borders.

In total, at least 16.6m people are in local lockdowns in the UK – about one in four people, according to the BBC.

Here are the different measures across the country:

Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Sunderland and County Durham​ – residents are banned from mixing with other households in any indoor setting, such as pubs and restaurants. 

There was some confusion about whether people could meet in beer gardens. However, mixing between households in pub gardens and outdoor restaurants spaces will not be made illegal, it has been clarified by the Department of Health. 

Leeds​, Wigan​, Stockport ​or Blackpool –​ residents cannot mix with anyone outside their household in private homes or gardens.

The parts of Lancashire​ not facing stricter restrictions; Bradford, Kirklees, Calderdale, Wolverhampton, Oadby ​and Wigston; Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell​  – people must not socialise with those outside their household in private homes or gardens.

In some areas of Lancashire, the Government has also advised people​ to not "socialise with people you do not live with, unless they’re in your support bubble, in any public venue," in addition to restrictions. 

The advice adds: "This applies to inside and outside of the affected areas. Examples of public venues include pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions and parks."

The Government has said it will impose stricter restrictions on the Liverpool city region, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough​ on Thursday 1 October. Laws will ban mixing between different households unless it is in a public outdoors space like a beer garden or park. This includes areas such as Knowsley and Halton.

Greater Manchester​ – including Salford​, Bury, Wigan, Stockport​ and the City of Manchester ​– residents have been advised not to mix with those from outside their household or support bubble. The Government's guidance for these areas states​: "In all areas affected, hospitality venues should also take steps to ensure that people do not socialise outside of their households inside and outside your premises."

Bolton​ (Greater Manchester) – hospitality venues have been closed for the past couple of weeks​ and are not allowed to operate takeaway services. However, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said measures in the town would be aligned with the rest of Greater Manchester - suggesting reopening will soon be allowed.

Neath Port Talbot, Torfaen, Vale of Glamorgan, Llanelli​, Cardiff​, Swansea,  Merthyr Tydfil, Bridgend, Blaenau Gwent, Newport​, Rhondda Cynon Taf ​and Caerphilly ​– ​people should not enter or leave their local areas without a reasonable excuse. Pubs must close by 10.20pm but have to stop serving alcohol at 10pm. People cannot meet other households indoors, including members of extended households.

The Welsh councils of Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, and Wrexham​ will now see the same restrictions as other parts of the country - with a ban on indoor mixing with other households - from 6pm Thursday 1 October.

Updated Thursday 1 October to reflect changes in rules for Bolton, Greater Manchester and Liverpool, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough. 

Related topics: Legislation

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