For pubs in tier two, the rules are they can only open if operating as a restaurant and serve alcohol with a “substantial meal”.
The ‘rule of six’ applies for diners outside but only one household or one household with a support bubble can be inside.
The Morning Advertiser has spoken to operators to find out how this rule is being enforced.
Licensee of the Unruly Pig in Bromeswell, Suffolk, Brendan Padfield said: “We are taking it seriously. All customers are asked to confirm they are single household or bubble and it would appear most, if not all customers are adhering.
“I did intervene with a customer. It was party of four. We asked whether part of a single household, they hesitated and then said not. A lot of customers are finding it inconvenient.
“We put the party on two separate tables with a partition in between them. They had their heads around the partitions and were talking and I did have to intervene."
He added: “The rules are there for a reason, I might not agree with they are the rules. It is difficult to police. If we have suspicions, we will check, but neither are we interrogating them.
“It is our job to take all reasonable steps to abide by and help implementation of the law but it is not for us to enforce the law.
“We are a hospitality business, we take it seriously, when we have suspicions, we do double check but we haven’t gone to the extent of seeking to see driving licences. Even if we did, that wouldn’t conclusive proof. It would be too intrusive and not conclusive.”
Piers Baker, who runs the Sun Inn, Dedham and Church Street Tavern in Colchester, both in Essex outlined how he was enforcing the rule.
He said: “We are asking upon booking. Walk-ins we also ask. Generally, ones that aren’t apparent single households say their support bubble and generally appear to be.
“We haven’t had any suspicious of guests over the weekend and really feel it is a police matter once we have done our part.”
Mark Thornhill runs the Inn on the Beach in Hayling Island, Hampshire with his wife Penny is also relying on customers being honest.
He said: “We are asking each and every person entering whether they are from the same household when we take Track and Trace details.
“Asking questions is our best option rather than ID. It’s pretty obvious when a guest walks in as most are adhering to the advice.
“We are finding trade is down as people are staying isolated so they can have that Christmas with their mum, dad, nan or grandad.”
A statement from Stonegate Pub Company, which has a number of pubs in tier two areas outlined the firm’s stance.
They said: “All our venues operate under robust Covid-secure measures and our teams have undergone thorough training on the various nuances of trading under the different tiers.
“When booking a table online, customers must agree to our terms and conditions, which include details of localised and national restrictions.
“Upon arrival at our venues, customers are asked to confirm they are all from the same household or support bubble and are reminded of the Government restrictions.”