Can pubs open on Christmas Day? This is what the rules say


For many families in Stoke-on-Trent it is a festive tradition to visit their local pub for a drink on Christmas Day.

But coronavirus means we will not be celebrating in the normal way this year.

The Government announced on Thursday (November 26) that Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire would enter into Tier 3 when lockdown ends tomorrow (December 2).

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This will mean that people cannot meet anyone socially, unless they are from your household or support bubble, either indoors or in outdoor spaces like private gardens, beer gardens, hospitality or ticketed venues.

However, the Government also announced that these restrictions will be slightly eased for a five-day period between December 23 and 27, regardless of whether you are living in tier one, two or three.

People in the UK will be permitted to celebrate in three-household Christmas bubbles with their families.

But can pubs open on Christmas Day?

Whether pubs can or cannot open on Christmas Day depends on what tier an area is in.

The Government has said: “From December 2, the rules on who you can meet with in bars, pubs and restaurants will depend on your tier.

“The rules might be different for indoor and outdoor hospitality settings. Check the rules for your tier.”

For Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire this means pubs and all other hospitality venues must stay closed on Christmas Day if the area remains in Tier 3.

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However, they are permitted to continue sales through takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-thru or delivery.

The first review of Tier 3 is due to take place on December 16. Any areas moving up or down will then switch on December 19.

If Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire are moved up to Tier 2, pubs will be able to open but they can only serve alcohol with ‘substantial meals’.

Therefore people will only be able to go to the pub if it is serving food on Christmas Day and only with their own household, not their Christmas bubble.

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, the Government has said these bubbles are not permitted to meet up inside pubs, hotels, retail, theatres or restaurants.

It stated: “If someone is in your Christmas bubble, you can visit each other’s homes and stay overnight, including in private rented accommodation.

“You can also go to a place of worship together, or meet in public outdoor spaces.

“You cannot meet your Christmas bubble in any other indoor setting, such as a pub, hotel, shop, theatre, or restaurant.

“In these settings, rules on who you can and cannot meet depend on your tier.”





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