On Wednesday 2 December 2020, the UK’s second national lockdown of the year will be lifted, with the nation instead switching to a three tier system. The government announced last week that London will be placed under Tier 2, which is the second toughest restriction of the tier system, trumped only by Tier 3.
Under Tier 2 restrictions, restaurants are allowed to reopen, but social distancing guidelines must be adhered to and you are not allowed to mix households within venues. That means you can go for dinner with your housemates or family members that you live with, but you cannot meet up with your friends who live at a different address (unless they are part of your social bubble). One way around these rules is to meet up outside for some alfresco dining, where up to six people from different households are allowed to congregate.
Pubs and bars are also allowed to reopen, but only if they serve substantial meals, meaning that pubs or bars without significant food menus must remain closed. Groups inside pubs will only be allowed to order alcoholic beverages alongside their meals and will not be allowed to order further drinks once they have finished eating. There is also a slight change to the nationwide 10pm curfew - last orders will still be taken at 10pm, but patrons will be allowed an hour to finish their food or drinks before having to leave the venue at 11pm.
Despite the restrictions on household mixing, you are allowed to meet up with people from other households in a pub or restaurant if you are there for a business meeting, a loophole which is supposed to help those who work freelance or do not have permanent office spaces in which to meet.
The new restrictions will last until 23 December, when they will be temporarily loosened to allow for five days of mixing across the Christmas period.
In other Coronavirus restriction news, Wales has temporarily banned the sale of alcohol in pubs and restaurants.