Drinkers may be forced to wear face masks outside when beer gardens open

Members of the public enjoy their first drink at a beer garden

April 12 marks the next step in the government’s easing of the lockdown (Photo: Getty Images)

Brits could be told to wear masks when beer bars reopen next week despite being outside.

Pubs and restaurants will be free to serve customers outside from Monday, as England enters its next stage of easing the lockdown.

Visitors should give their contact details for contact tracing and they should wear face masks when passing through indoor areas – such as going to the bathroom.

Groups will be limited to six people or two households and punters must order alcohol at their table and stay there while eating or drinking.

But despite all of these precautions, some customers may be forced to wear face masks even when they are seated outside.

National guidelines only state that masks are required indoors, but there seems to be some confusion over whether visitors should wear them when walking to and from their tables outside.

Customers ordering food and alcohol will be limited to table service only (Photo: AFP / Getty Images)

A notice from the Ribble Valley Borough Council in Lancashire told pubs that ‘customers should wear headgear except when seated to eat or drink’.

Believing it to be a “printing error,” Stosie Madi, owner of the Parkers Arms pub near Clitheroe, contacted the council, who said patrons must wear masks unless eating or eating. to drink.

She told the Telegraph: “You can go anywhere in this country outside and do whatever you do without a mask, so why on earth would you need to wear a mask outside in a pub? “

He was told that the council has set up a task force to enforce these measures and is concerned about what would happen if they walk into his garden and see a client “come out of his table and go to his house. car without mask ”.

Some councils have said customers would only be allowed to not wear masks when they sit down to eat and drink (Photo: Getty Images)

Another Rochdale pub said it had received similar advice as well.

UK Hospitality Managing Director Kate Nichols said: “We need local enforcement agencies to work to help businesses reopen rather than creating barriers or confusing. “

British Beer and Pub Association CEO Emma McClarkin added: “We are aware of the inconsistencies between councils and local authorities and we would ask to come to this in the spirit of trying to help pubs to open safely rather than trying to check for errors or reasons to prevent reopening.

Britons are expected to spend more than £ 300million next week as pubs and restaurants reopen.

However, that’s still far less than the country’s average weekly spending of £ 663million on dining and drinking, according to the Center for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

And three-fifths of the country’s pubs – around 40,000 – will have to stay closed because they don’t have enough outdoor space, while most pubs that can open will continue to make a loss, warns the British Beer & Pub Association ( BBPA).

Hospitality businesses will not be able to serve customers indoors until May 17 at the earliest under current government plans.

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