EATING and drinking out at restaurants, pubs and coffee shops is going to be a little different as new rules come into force.
From tomorrow (24 September), anywhere serving food or drink will have to close by 10pm.
When eating and drinking, you must be at a table – there's no standing at the bar or hovering anywhere else, either inside or outside.
And if you're eating or drinking at a place that serves alcohol, you must order from the table while seated too.
Here we go through what you should and shouldn't do, from ordering to wearing face coverings.
From 10pm you can't eat or drink in anywhere. This includes your favourite food chains like McDonald’s, Nando’s and KFC if they were open that late.
You can't walk into these places to order food to takeaway and you can't pick up a takeaway order either.
But you can order food to be delivered if your local restaurant remains open for delivery services after 10pm.
And you can get drive-thru service if your local restaurant is offering the service after 10pm.
Here's what the rules say: "Businesses selling food or drink (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants), social clubs, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement arcades (and other indoor leisure centres or facilities), funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls, must be closed between 10pm and 5am.
"This will include takeaways but delivery services can continue after 10pm (from 24 September)."
When eating or drinking in at McDonald’s, Nando’s and KFC, you must be seated.
You can't be eating or drinking standing up at any branches, inside or outside.
The new rules say: "Customers must eat and drink at a table in any premises selling food and drink to consume indoors, on site (from 24 September)."
At Greggs, there is still no dining in, only takeaway and delivery.
You'll also have to be seated at coffee shops like Starbucks, Cost Coffee, Cafe Nero and Pret.
The new rules say: "In licensed premises, food and drink must be ordered from, and served at, a table."
Table service is when someone comes to your table to take your order and it's now mandatory at some places.
If the place you're at serves alcohol, you'll order your food and drink from where you're seated rather than going to a counter to order.
But if alcohol isn't served table service isn't required, a Downing Street spokesperson confirmed to The Sun.
So at somewhere like Nando's where you can get a wine or beer, you'll have to order from the table, even if you're not ordering alcohol.
Nando's has already been offering table service since it reopened for dine-ins.
List of places that will have to follow the 10pm curfew
BORIS Johnson has introduced new tougher coronavirus restrictions, including a 10pm curfew on the following hospitality places.
- Social clubs
- Bowling alleys
- Amusement arcades
- Theme parks
- Adventure parks
- Activity parks
- Bingo halls.
At McDonald's and KFC, table service won't be required.
The same goes for Greggs and coffee shops like Starbucks, Cost Coffee, Cafe Nero and Pret because these places don't serve alcohol and are exempt from the rules on table service.
But you'll still have to sit down to eat and drink at these places to comply with the rules on seating explained above.
It's now mandatory to check in at anywhere you eat in – previously it was optional.
So when dining in at McDonald’s, Nando’s and KFC, as well as coffee shops like Starbucks, Cost Coffee, Cafe Nero and Pret, you will have to check in.
You can check in with the NHS contact tracing app which launches on 24 September instead of leaving your contact details.
The place you're visiting will display a QR code which can be used to check in.
Here's what the new rules say: "Businesses will need to display the official NHS QR code posters so that customers can ‘check-in’ at different premises using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details once the app is rolled out nationally (from 24 September)"
There are stricter rules on wearing face coverings when you're eating out.
You have to wear a mask in any place serving food and drink, except for when you're seated and eating or drinking.
The new rules say: "Customers in hospitality venues must wear face coverings, except when seated at a table to eat or drink.
"Staff in hospitality and retail will now also be required to wear face coverings (from 24 September)."
But anyone who can't wear a mask for health or other reasons is exempt.
This means when you're entering McDonald’s, Nando’s, KFC and Greggs as well as coffee shops, you will have to wear a mask until you're seated, or when ordering at the counter.
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