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How to Dine Out During Lockdown-Lite

~ Click Here for Latest Government Rules ~ 12th Apr 2021

UPDATED 12th April 2021:


An outbreak of COVID-19 has been identified in parts of Greater Manchester so the government and local authorities have introduced strict new rules that diners should follow.

Some of the rules on what you can and cannot do changed on 12 April, including visiting restaurants and bars.


We have simplified the bits that involve dining out in the region:



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Dining out in Manchester:


  • You can still dine out at OUTDOOR hospitality venues only.
    • Outdoor areas at hospitality venues in Manchester (cafes, restaurants, bars, pubs, social clubs, including in members’ clubs) can reopen from Monday 12th April.
    • Indoor venues are scheduled to open on May 17th at the earliest.
  • At any premises serving alcohol, customers will be required to order, be served and eat/drink while seated (“table service”).
  • Smoking equipment such as shisha pipes, for use on the premises, are banned.
  • Hospitality venues can also provide takeaway alcohol.
    • These venues may allow customers to use an inside bathroom and customers can order and pay indoors.


  • Making a reservation is highly advisable.
    • Please inform the venue if, for any reason, you will not be attending your reservation.


  • You can now meet up at venues that are open outdoors, with friends and family you do not live with, in a group of up to 6 from any number of households.
    • Children of all ages count towards the limit of 6.
  • You can now meet in a group of any size from up to two households (each household can include an existing support bubble, if eligible).
    • This means, for example, that you and your support bubble can meet with another household, even if the group is more than 6 people.
  • You must not stay overnight with anyone not in your household or support bubble, unless a legal exemption applies.
  • The police can take action against you if you meet in larger groups. This includes breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fines (fixed penalty notices).
    • You can be given a fixed penalty notice of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400.


  • Social distancing is still very important. You should stay 2 metres apart from anyone who is not in your household or support bubble where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings) if you cannot stay 2 metres apart.
  • Regularly wash or sanitise your hands.


  • If you need to enter through a venue to get to an outside space and there is no alternative access, you should wear a face covering, wash or sanitise your hands when entering, and then go straight to the outside space.
  • If you need to use the bathroom, wash your hands thoroughly and go back outside immediately. 


  • Takeaways and deliveries can remain open during this time.


  • Always wash your hands after touching items other people have come into contact with before dining- especially if eating finger food.
  • NEW - If you are aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions), or under 70 with an underlying health condition (that is, anyone instructed to get a flu jab each year on medical grounds), including pregnant women, those with diabetes, mild to moderate asthma, or are seriously overweight (a BMI of 40 or above), then you can still dine out but must keep 2 metres away from others wherever possible or 1 metre plus other precautions. [click here for other at risk health conditions]
    • You should also continue to wash your hands more frequently than usual
    • You should keep the number of different people you meet with low


  • You may continue to travel to restaurants and bars, but you should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible.
    • If you need to travel, you are encouraged to walk or cycle.
    • Or plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport.
    • Regularly wash or sanitise your hands.
    • Wear a face covering on public transport, unless you’re exempt
    • You should try not to share a car with those outside your household (or social bubble).
    • Try to share the transport with the same people each time
    • Keep to small groups of people at any one time
    • Open windows for ventilation
    • Travel side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them
    • Face away from each other
    • Consider seating arrangements to maximise distance between people in the vehicle
    • Clean your car between journeys using standard cleaning products – make sure you clean door handles and other areas that people may touch
    • Ask the driver and passengers to wear a face covering


Following these rules will help Manchester's hospitality, entertainment and tourism trades recover far quicker and keep people in jobs.


Keep up to date with the latest Government advice (together with rules about meeting up in other environments, such as your house or garden) here.




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