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How to Dine Out During a Local Lockdown

~ Click Here for Latest Government Rules ~ 31st Oct 2020

UPDATED 31st OCT 2020:


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.

The Government have introduced new rules for dining out in the area, which come into force on the 14th October 2020.


Unless you have been self-isolating by living under a rock the past few weeks, you can't have failed to hear that the Government have moved Greater Manchester into the very high alert category.


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


Affected local areas, under the new "VERY HIGH ALERT"

  • Manchester city centre
  • Salford
  • Trafford
  • Stockport
  • Oldham
  • Bury
  • Bolton
  • Rochdale
  • Tameside
  • Wigan
  • Warrington



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As far as eating out is concerned, this means:


  • NEW ~ You can still dine out in Manchester restaurants and bars, until Wednesday evening, however:
  • NEW ~ All restaurants and bars will shut at 22:00, Wednesday 4th November until 2nd December 2020
  • NEW ~ Takeaways and deliveries can remain open during that time
  • NEW - You must not drink or dine indoors or outdoors with friends and family you do not live with (unless you have formed a support bubble).
    • These rules apply even if you are from one of the Manchester regions listed above and are visiting friends or family outside of the restricted areas
  • NEW - You should try to avoid travelling outside the area
  • NEW - You should try to avoid travelling into Manchester, from an other area
  • NEW - You should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if you are resident in the Greater Manchester area
  • NEW - You should avoid staying overnight in Greater Manchester, if you are resident elsewhere
  • You must not meet in a group of more than 6, indoors or outdoors, unless you all live together (or are in the same support bubble). 
    • This is against the law and the police have the powers to enforce these legal limits, including to issue fines (fixed penalty notices) of £200, doubling for further breaches up to a maximum of £6,400.
  • NEW - Pubs and bars must close unless they serve "substantial meals"
    • Alcohol may only be served as part of a meal
  • NEW - At least one person in your group should give their contact details to the venue or check in using the official NHS COVID-19 app so NHS Test and Trace can contact you if needed.
  • Unless you have an exemption, you must wear a face covering indoors, except whilst seated to eat or drink.
  • Restaurants and bars must close by 22:00.
    • Except for takeaway delivery, click-and-collect or drive-through
  • Hospitality venues should take steps to ensure that:
    • Customers only consume food and drink while seated in the premises
    • Alcohol orders are only taken from customers who are seated
    • Take-away orders can continue to be made at a counter or bar (as can orders inside venues that do not sell alcohol).
    • People do not meet in their premises with people from outside of their household (or support bubble)
    • Bookings are not accepted, or customers admitted onto the premises if groups include more than 6 people (or only include one household if the group is larger than 6)
    • Customers do not join groups of more than 6 people (or multiple households where a single household group is greater than 6, inside or outdoors
    • Tables are appropriately spaced to enable social distancing
    • Businesses can be fined by local authorities or the police if they fail to fulfill the obligations placed on them in law.
  • You should socially distance from other households at all times – unless they are in your support bubble.
  • Making a reservation is advisable
  • 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.
    • 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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