London restaurants and pubs will enter tier two coronavirus restrictions on Wednesday 2 December, when England emerges from a month-long lockdown.
The UK’s health secretary, Matt Hancock announced the news yesterday. Under the rules, which London abided by before going into a month-long lockdown in November, indoor dining is restricted to a single household or support bubble, with up to six people from multiple households allowed to dine outdoors.
Pubs are only allowed to serve alcohol with “a substantial meal”. The guidance on whether people can meet in restaurants for business lunches was unclear. The tier two restrictions will be slightly different this time around, as the government has decided to scrap the highly criticised 10pm curfew, which has been extended to 11pm.
The curfew extension will be welcome news for restaurants, allowing them to take bookings later into the evening, increasing their number of nightly covers. While being allowed to reopen is welcome news for London’s hospitality sector, it still faces major challenges due to strict restrictions on household mixing.
There is also the possibility that the UK capital could move up to tier three, which would lead to a third shutdown of restaurants and pubs. The first tier review is scheduled to take place on 16 December.