Monday will see a major milestone in Boris Johnson’s lockdown roadmap, marking the beginning of a (hopefully) more enjoyable way of life.
It has been a long time since people were allowed to get drunk with people they don’t live with, legally. So, unsurprisingly, everywhere you look, people are talking about what each “stage” means for their summer pub outings.
Can you blame them, given the weirdness of the past year?
Now, the chance to enjoy an ice cold pint or pop a prosecco with friends is just hours away, with people poised to flock to beer gardens whatever the weather has in store. Even if alcohol isn’t your thing, it’s hard to deny the magic of actually being allowed to gather with friends on a balmy evening...
Here’s where and when you can get drunk as England continues its crawl out of lockdown:
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April 12th: In a pub garden
Some businesses have argued that they will have to wait until stage three of the roadmap due to a lack of outdoor hospitality space.
As far as London is concerned, both the Mayor of London and Transport for London (TfL) have backed increased pedestrianisation of the streets to facilitate businesses that wouldn’t otherwise have the space.
On the same day, non-essential retail, hairdressers and beauty salons will open – good news for those that won’t even look at a pub until they’ve sorted out their lockdown hair.
May 17th: Actually inside pubs and restaurants
Providing everything works out with serving people outside, the hospitality industry will once again be allowed to invite customers back into their premises. It’ll be table service only, but we’re not sure that’s a bad thing.
What’s more, the rule of six will be scrapped for outside socialising too, with people able to meet in groups of up to 30. Those Friday evening barbecues are about to start feeling like Glastonbury didn’t get cancelled.
Indoor drinking sessions at each other’s houses will also be okay to do on a smaller scale – with groups of up to six people or two households.
June 21st: Clubs? Concerts?
The Government remain hopeful that this is the home stretch. It’s anticipated that clubs and gig venues will be given the green light to hold events at full capacity. What a relief for those that wish they’d savoured the last time they were covered in the remains of someone else's sticky lager.
It’ll give the country’s nightlife industry a much needed jolt into action as one of the only industries that has remained completely closed over the past year. We anticipate a level of hedonism that sends the most ardent of club-haters straight back to the shot bar.
This is when the Prime Minister expects to lift all limits on social contact - though health experts advise that we continue mask-wearing until the vaccination process is complete.