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Christmas bookings over the festive period have fallen by around 75 percent according to around 50 percent of pubs, restaurants and hotels. Instead, more people than ever before are planning to celebrate the festive season at home with loved ones. But Christmas Day trips to the pub are hugely popular in Britain – but will pubs be open for visitors on Christmas Day?
Britons are able to make for definitive plans for the upcoming Christmas period after the nations of Great Britain published a joint statement about the rules for the festive period.
People in the UK will be permitted to celebrate in three-household “Christmas bubbles” with their families from December 23 to 27.
The coronavirus rules for Christmas agreed by the four administrations are:
- Travel restrictions across the four administrations and between tiers will be lifted to provide a window for households to come together between December 23 to 27.
- Up to three households can form an exclusive “bubble” to meet at home during this period. When a bubble is formed it is fixed, and must not be changed or extended further at any point.
- Each Christmas bubble can meet at home, at a place of worship or an outdoor public place.
A joint statement issued by the UK Government and Devolved Administrations reads: “This cannot be a ‘normal’ Christmas.
“But as we approach the festive period, we have been working closely together to find a way for family and friends to see each other, even if it is for a short time, and recognising that it must be both limited and cautious.
“Even where it is within the rules, meeting with friends and family over Christmas will be a personal judgement for individuals to take, mindful of the risks to themselves and others, particularly those who are vulnerable.
“We need everyone to think carefully about what they do during this period, balancing some increased social contact with the need to keep the risk of increased transmission of the virus as low as possible.
“This is particularly important when considering those who are vulnerable, and before deciding to come together over the festive period we urge the consideration of alternative approaches such as the use of technology or meeting outside.”
But can pubs open on Christmas Day?
Whether pubs can or cannot open on Christmas Day is subject to the tier classification of the pub’s location.
The Government will confirm which tier every area in England is in on Thursday, November 26.
In Tier 3 areas which are very high alert level regions, pubs and all other hospitality venues must close.
These venues are, however, permitted to continue sales through takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.
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If your location is classified as a tier 2 region, this means you are a high alert level.
In tier 2 areas, pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants.
Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals.
This means unless a pub is serving food on Christmas Day, it will not be permitted to open for customers.
Last orders will be at 10pm with a closing time of 11pm for all venues.
However, like tier 3 regions, pubs are able to open for drinks off the premises through delivery, click-and-collect or drive-through services.
For tier 1 areas, which are evaluated as medium risk regions, the least restrictive rules are in place.
All restaurants, pubs and bars are permitted to reopen in tier 1 areas, however, they must operate table service only.
The rule of six must be observed and last orders will now be at 10pm, with closing time for all restaurants, pubs and bars at 11pm.
Unlike tier 2 areas, tier 1 pubs do not need to offer substantial meals to serve alcoholic beverages, instead, patrons can simply visit pubs for a drink alone as long as the Government’s covid-secure venue guidance is observed.
What are the rules about going to the pub with your Christmas bubble?
Families are able to “bubble” with two other households for five days at Christmas under the new deal.
However, these bubbles are not permitted to meet up inside pubs, hotels, retail, theatres or restaurants.
The Government’s website reads: “More restrictive rules on hospitality and meeting in other venues will be maintained throughout this period.”
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