So, exactly how many people can I go out for dinner with in the UK?

·3-min read
The UK is beginning to ease out of lockdown (Getty Images)
The UK is beginning to ease out of lockdown (Getty Images)

Earlier this month, the UK took its most significant steps in life returning to normal amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic - with hairdressers, theme parks and places of worship among those to open their doors in some parts.

However, what delighted many Britons even more were that pubs and restaurants were once more allowed to welcome customers from July 4 in England.

What’s more, the rules have changed on how many people from different households can meet up.

This means that catching up with family and friends in person - as opposed to over Zoom - is now a much more realistic prospect for the first time since the country went into lockdown in late March.

Read more: How will the 'Eat Out to Help Out' scheme work?

If a pint of beer at a pub still seems a scary prospect, perhaps going out for dinner with loved ones will be that bit less daunting.

Additionally, the thought of hosting a dinner party at home be abhorrent after weeks cooking in your kitchen - and leaving the house for food is a particularly attractive option given the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme that gives diners a 50% discount.

But how many people can you eat out with? Also, does this vary whether you are in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland?

Read on to find out the latest guidance...

England

If you are dining out in England with people you do not live with - and are sat indoors - you should only meet with one other household.

In contrast, if you are eating outdoors, you can do so with one other household or in a group of up to six people from different households.

All those from different households, unless in support bubbles, should stick to social distancing of at least one metre.

Find out more about measures in England: gov.uk

Wales

However, in Wales you cannot yet dine out at all.

Earlier this week, the government revealed that restaurants and cafes - as well as pubs and bars - will be able to receive visitors from August 3 if cases remain under control.

This means that you’ll have to wait until then to find out how many people you’ll be able to have dinner with.

Find out more about measures in Wales: gov.uk

Scotland

It’s different again in Scotland where outdoor hospitality has opened, while indoor restaurants, cafes and pubs will be able to reopen on July 15.

From that date, outdoor and indoor hospitality venues will be granted an exemption from the two-metre distancing requirement.

From July 10, groups of up to 15 people outdoors, from up to five different households - including your own household - are allowed to meet up.

For indoor gatherings, a maximum of eight people, from up to three different households, can meet up.

Find out more about measures in Scotland: gov.uk

Northern Ireland

Similarly to England, it is already possible to eat out in Northern Ireland.

However, there are some slight differences - alcohol may be sold with food indoors, while pubs that do not sell food will only be permitted to open outdoors.

You can dine with up to six people from different households indoors.

Find out more about measures in Northern Ireland: gov.uk

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