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How To Stay As Safe As Possible In Pubs And Restaurants

Rachel Moss
·2-min read

The Christmas socialising season is upon us, but it looks very different this year under England’s three tier system.

In tier 1, you can go to pubs and restaurants with up to five friends outside of your household, but that applies to very few areas of the country (currently the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly). In tier 2, you can book a table with a substantial meal – as long as you only sit with people in your household. And in tier 3, pubs and restaurants can only offer takeaways.

If you’re tempted to go to the pub – in any capacity – this Christmas, it’s likely to increase your exposure risk to Covid-19 compared to sitting at home.

“There’s still a lot we don’t know about the transmission of Covid between people, but there’s a strong consensus that Covid is spread more rapidly: indoors rather than outside, in crowded spaces, and where people cannot adequate keep their distance from others,” Professor Paul Hunter, an expert on infectious diseases at the University of East Anglia, tells HuffPost UK.

“At the start of the national lockdown, we saw a surge of infections in England but only really in those authorities that were in tiers 1 and 2 where there were fewer pre-existing restrictions on mixing indoors.”


Despite the risk, for some, supporting a local business, getting a change of scenery and having a mental health boost feels the right decision.

With that in mind, here are some tips for staying as safe as possible if you’re going to visit a pub or restaurant.

Don’t bend the household rules

If a mate says “go on, no one will know”, try to avoid temptation – even if they suggest booking two tables next to each other.

“Don’t bend the rules on not being allowed to socialise outside your household or bubble,” says Professor...

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