Pub goers won’t need to take cash just for drinking in the outdoor gardens from Monday onwards

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UK Hospitality CEO Kate Nicholls told Sun Online today that the government is changing its rules so that pubs can accept card payments indoors.


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Publishers won’t have to rely on cash and will be able to use their cards indoors when drinking in the beer gardens starting Monday, it emerged today.
Drinkers are reserving thousands of outdoor tables as pubs prepare to open next week.

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Pubs to open their beer gardens on Monday – the first time in monthsCredit: Alamy
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UK Hospitality CEO Kate Nicholls told Sun Online today that the government is changing its rules so that pubs can accept card payments indoors.

But there has been confusion over how punters will pay for their alcohol after official guidelines said hospitality guests “must” pay at their outdoor tables.

Industry bosses have complained that poor rural broadband and mobile signal means card machines cannot be used in pub gardens – typically in remote areas such as Devon and Cornwall.

Meanwhile, some pubs have licensing restrictions that don’t allow them to accept outside payments – forcing some owners to close their doors next week.

But UK Hospitality CEO Kate Nicholls today confirmed to The Sun Online that government guidelines are being changed to allow domestic payment.

It comes as:

The change will allow customers to pay inside as a last resort and Ms Nicholls added that “common sense has prevailed” in what is a “big win” for pubs.

It was feared that up to a third of the pubs could not have opened on Monday if the rules had not been changed.

Ms Nicholls told Sun Online: “As of next week, the government is changing the guidelines to allow domestic payments, so common sense has prevailed.

“The government worked with us on the pragmatic solution to allow payments to be made indoors where they cannot be made at the table.

Thousands of Britons will be heading to their local spirits next week3
Thousands of Britons will be heading to their local spirits next weekCredit: Getty

“The original regulations and original guidelines did not allow you to come back inside to make a payment.

“And so for a lot of pubs and restaurants, that would have meant they couldn’t open because they didn’t have remote, contactless payment technology that allowed them to accept payments at the table.

“Clearly the only alternative is cash, and many of us over the past 14 months are used to not having cash and therefore government guidelines recommend against using cash. liquid unless it is a last resort.

“So we were kind of confused as to how we were going to handle it and the government worked with us to find a solution.

“The guide now allows you to make payments indoors where it is not possible to make a payment at the table. Either in cash or by card. “

Starting next week, the government is amending the guidelines to allow domestic payments, so common sense has prevailed. ”
Kate Nicholls, CEO of the British hospitality industry

She added: “This is really good news, unless this change was made, up to a third of those who could have opened on the outside, would not have been able to do so.

“There are a variety of reasons. Some pubs do not have Wi-Fi, especially rural pubs.

“Rural pubs are the ones with the biggest beer gardens, if you have a big beer garden and you don’t have Wi-Fi outside, you can’t process card payments at outside.

“There are also pubs that have a condition on their license to prevent them from making payments outside.”

Ms Nicholls added that this was a huge victory for rural pubs that would not have been able to operate under these restrictions and she expects the rule change to be made “imminently”.

She added, “It means a lot of licensees don’t think they can operate safely, legally and accept payments. This should allow more ads to be able to open.

“It was a confusing rule, but it’s a victory for common sense and one of those things in a rush to write something had been drafted that didn’t make sense.

“It is great that the government has recognized this and taken action to address it. This shows the importance of detailed consolation with the industry. “

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