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Eating and drinking

Read our FAQs to find out how we’re working hard to make sure eating out and drinking in the city is safe and enjoyable.

Visit GOV.UK for further guidance for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaways.

Which bars, pubs, restaurants will be opening?

Unfortunately there isn’t a comprehensive list of all the venues which will be opening their doors from Saturday 4 July. If you know where you want to visit, check out their website or social media channels beforehand.

Which bars, pubs, restaurants will be opening?

Unfortunately there isn’t a comprehensive list of all the venues which will be opening their doors from Saturday 4 July. If you know where you want to visit, check out their website or social media channels beforehand.

Why are some of them not opening?

There are a myriad of reasons why not all businesses will be welcoming customers back as early as this weekend. These can range from outlets wanting to be confident they are abiding by all the guidelines, right through to staffing issues. Many are taking their time to reopen so they can ensure it is a safe environment for their staff and customers.

Will the venues look different?

It’s likely seating will change inside and some businesses may also introduce a pavement service offer that didn’t exit pre-Covid-19. Some restaurants and bars will have installed Perspex screens and others may introduce a one-way system inside to maintain social distancing.  Table service will be in operation and there will be no live entertainment, dancing in groups or loud music.

Fruit machines, jukeboxes, and games such as pool and darts are all allowed as long as the venue has carried out a risk assessment and there is consideration given for social distancing and regular cleaning.

Carverys can also still operate, but customers cannot serve themselves and staff will be expected to do this.

Will I have to pre-book for all restaurants or can I just turn up in the day?

This will vary for each restaurant – please check with them before you head to the location.

Can I visit with my friends and family?

Current government guidance says everyone needs to remain within their social bubble which is a maximum of six people from just two households. It is advised that people do not exceed these numbers, and when out, you need to be at a socially safe distance from other bubbles – two metres where possible, but not less than one metre.

Will I have to pre-book for non-food venues?

Again, it is the venue’s decision, but reservations may be essential whereas others will install a queuing system.

If a venue wants to take my details – what will these be used for?

This is for the purposes of test, track and trace. All information will be kept for 21 days and then disposed of. The business must keep this information secure in order to comply with the 2018 Data Protection Act.

What are the opening hours – will bars stay open until the early hours?

Businesses can choose to open at any time during their normal operational hours.

Will TV screens be allowed and can they show sporting events?

Current guidance states that all venues are to prevent any entertainment such as broadcasts. It is believed that this is likely to encourage customers to talk loudly, shout sing or chant which could increase transmission risk. If a premise chooses to broadcast a football match they would have to put in place certain measures to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, for example, reducing the volume or having no volume at all. In addition, the guidance would require premises to manage customers should they become excitable and potentially breach social distancing. This could prove too difficult for some venues so should be carefully considered.

Will venues have indoor and outdoor seating?

Some will, some won’t. The recently announced Liverpool Without Walls pilot will see a £450,000 investment by Liverpool City Council which will allow businesses to utilise the pavements outside their premises. To read the full story click here.

Will I be able to use the toilets in the venue?

Yes – one of conditions for a business is if they are open for food and drink which are consumed on the premises, they have to provide toilet facilities. It is likely the number of facilities will be limited so expect queues. However, if an outlet is just operating a takeaway service, they are not under any obligation to provide access to a toilet.

Do I have to wear a face covering in the venue?

This will be dependent on the venue and some could make it a condition of entry. However there is no legal requirement to do so.

Will hand sanitiser be available?

It’s highly likely many businesses will offer hand sanitiser. However it is strongly recommended that you bring your own personal hand sanitiser with you which you can use as often as you want.

Will Liverpool City Council be carrying out pre-opening checks to make sure venues are abiding by social distancing rules?

The licensing team has been liaising with premises in the run up to the 4 July to make them aware of the guidance they need to adhere to.

If a business is not following the rules – can they stop them from opening?

If a business operator deviates from the guidance and things go wrong it could lead to a review of their licence. All venues must still comply with the licensing law and adhere to any conditions that are attached to their licence. Also the premises are governed by the Health and Safety at Work legislation that covers visitors and customers to those premises in addition to staff working there.

If social distancing isn’t adhered to when the venue reopens, what powers does the council have to close it?

If there is deemed to be a health and safety breach they will be served a notice and will have 21 days to comply with the order. A breach of social distancing may be deemed to be a health and safety breach and may be served a prohibition notice.

Will the council be carrying out spot-checks from 4 July?

Yes, the city council does this regularly anyway.

If customers are concerned about measures a venue has, or has not, put in place, who can they contact?

Anyone who has concerns about the operation of a business can notify the city council by emailing

Whose responsibility is it if there is any anti-social behaviour?

Anti-social behaviour should be reported to the Merseyside Police in the first instance. If there are repeated incidents of anti-social behaviour directly linked to a specific licensed venue, it could lead to a review of the licence. In such instances please notify the Liverpool City Council licensing team at

Will the cleansing teams be out more frequently to clean the streets?

Yes – the city council’s cleansing team will continue to work hard to keep our city looking clean, but we ask everyone to be responsible and dispose of any litter properly.

Can I use public transport to get around the city?

Public transport is running but customers need to be aware that space is greatly reduced on buses, trains and ferries due to social distancing rules. Merseytravel is asking people to rethink if, when and by what means they travel. Cycling and walking is advised wherever possible. If you need to use public transport it is vital that you plan ahead and leave plenty of time for your journey.
The Government has announced that face coverings are mandatory on all public transport, with some exceptions. All the latest information is available as part of Merseytravel’s ReThink Travel campaign and can be found on the Merseytravel website.

Can I get a taxi?

Travelling in a taxi is of course an option and Liverpool City Council has become the first authority in the country to approve a locally-made protective screen for taxis and private hire vehicles that will help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Read the full story here.




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