What is the new Eat Out to Help Out scheme and how can we stay safe when dining out?
As the UK government launches its new Eat Out to Help Out scheme, we have put together this simple guide on how to stay safe in restaurants. We explore the measures restaurants are taking for their customers and learn how the new scheme will work.
How to get a discount at your favourite restaurants in August
On the 3rd August the UK government will begin the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, where customers will be able to get 50% off their meals with a £10 maximum discount per person. It has been created to encourage customers to eat out again at restaurants and cafés following the lockdown restrictions and will apply every Monday to Wednesday until the 31st August. This discount is only available when eating inside (not take-away) and the restaurant has signed up to the new scheme. It’s easy to use – the discount will be automatically available to you at participating establishments, which are reimbursed by the government. While there is no minimum spend, you can’t claim the discount on alcoholic drinks or service charges. Many big chains, such as Starbucks and Prezzo have already signed up, but you can also check which of your local restaurants have joined up to the scheme online.
Protect yourself and others when dining out at a restaurant
As we have heard since the beginning of the pandemic, the best ways to protect ourselves and others are by social distancing and regularly washing and sanitising our hands. In restaurants you should keep a social distance of one metre plus.
Although restaurants should provide hand sanitiser, It’s a good idea to have your own sanitiser handy. It is currently not the law to wear a mask or face covering in a restaurant when you’re consuming your meal but they are mandatory for most people when using public transport or visiting other shops in England. These same laws apply in Scotland, however wearing a mask or covering in shops is currently not mandatory in Wales or Northern Ireland. It’s a good idea to always have a mask handy just in case you need it.
What are restaurants doing to keep you safe?
The exact measures taken will vary from place to place, however restaurants will be following guidelines from the government to keep their staff and customers safe. You are likely to see staff members wearing visors and face masks and most restaurants will be reducing their capacity with increased space between tables to maintain social distancing rules. More restaurants will require you to book, and you may be asked for your name and phone number so they have a record of customers, to support the Government’s Contact Tracing Initiative. If you’re unsure about the precautions a restaurant, café or chain is taking, check their social media or website, as they often have COVID updates to explain how they are making it safer for their customers.