What can reopen on the 17th May?

Venues owners up and down the country will have had 17th May circled on their calendar for months, ever since the PMs roadmap announcement in February. Finally, indoor settings will be permitted to reopen with restrictions on social contact and attendance. New data released underscores the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines, and the Prime Minister confirmed that stage three of his ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown for England will go ahead as planned.

Pubs and restaurants which previously were only able to serve outdoor diners, will be able to increase attendance by utilising a set amount of indoor space. This is excellent news, especially for hospitality venues who were unable to secure a pavement license. Test and trace rules are expected to be tightened as all customers will need to check-in, rather than just one of a party. Many venues will have been gearing up for this date for months, so what are the venues that can now finally reopen, and what are the new restrictions?

What is allowed to open 17th May?

  • Cinemas
  • Theatre and concert halls
  • Arcades, casinos and gaming centres
  • Bingo halls
  • Bowling alleys
  • Snooker and pool halls
  • Museums and galleries
  • Games entertainment venues (laser quest, escape rooms, paintballing, and indoor driving circuits)
  • Trampoline parks and soft play areas
  • Theme parks
  • Zoos, safari parks and other animal attractions
  • Landmarks and stately homes
  • Saunas and steam rooms
  • Other premises are also permitted to open, check the government website here for the extended list.

On the 21st June 2021, all restrictions on social distancing will be lifted. But for May, these premises will be permitted to open only with certain limitations in place. Many bars and clubs will move from solely outdoor dining to indoor, allowing them to serve more customers. Customers must obey strict social distancing rules while inside the building. Venues should have these rules on display alongside other guidance, such as one-way pathways. New rules will also be applied to outdoor dining which are more lenient.

What are the new rules for 17th May

  • Groups of six or two households can meet indoors
  • Weddings and other life events allowed with up to 30 people
  • Restriction on outdoor limits lifted
  • If a venue does not serve alcohol, customers can order and collect food and drink from a counter, but they must consume food and drink while seated at a table
  • Venues prohibited from providing smoking equipment such as shisha
  • Capacity limits for music venues, theatres, cinemas and audiences must be socially distanced. 50% capacity upto 1000 people for indoor events, 50% capacity upto 4000 people for outdoor events, 25% capacity upto 10,000 people for seated events such as stadiums
  • A cap on the number of funeral mourners lifted
  • Hotels can welcome back none-key worker guest

Sunday 9th May was the first day England has reported zero Covid deaths for 14 months. This positive news was paired with the Covid-19 Alert Level in the UK lowered from Level 4 to Level 3, meaning that the epidemic is in general circulation. The step-by-step unlock appears to be working for lowering Covid rates and owners are hoping to see a boom in attendees and in the appetite for nightlife.

What venues cannot open after May 17th?

  • High-risk sectors
  • Nightclubs
  • Adult entertainment venues
  • Dance clubs

There is still quite a wait until June for these establishments, at least five weeks after the step three date. Plans are in place to lift restrictions on social contact and large events permanently, its only a matter of time.

Re-Opening Handbook For The Hospitality & Leisure Industry

For more information on all the rules restrictions and dates relative to the nightlife industry, see our reopening handbook.

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