Know before you go: book ahead and protect your community as pubs, bars and restaurants reopen

Published: Friday, 3rd July 2020

As pubs, bars and restaurants prepare to reopen tomorrow (Saturday 4 July), Oxford City Council is asking people to book ahead where possible and maintain social distancing when eating or drinking out.

Not all pubs, bars and restaurants will be open and there will be reduced capacity in those that do because of social distancing restrictions that remain in force. Following conversations with Oxford’s Pubwatch group, the council is advising people considering going out:

  • Check to make sure where you want to go will be open before leaving home
  • As space will be limited, many places are only taking bookings in advance
  • If you haven’t booked in advance you may have to wait or come back later
  • The Bitten Oxford website has a list of places that will be open and is also providing latest updates on Instagram
  • Maintain social distancing in venues and when getting to or from your chosen pub, bar or restaurant – this includes one-way pedestrian guidance in the city centre and on Cowley Road
  • Opening hours may be limited and venues may close earlier than normal
  • Pubs will be offering table service only, though this may vary between waiter service, ordering by an app or at the bar
  • Venues may prefer contactless or cashless payment
  • You may have to give your contact details in case NHS Test and Trace needs to get in touch with you. Your details will be held temporarily for a month
  • No groups of more than six people are allowed. If you are sitting indoors you can only be from two households, though more households can be included in your group if you are outside
  • Each pub, bar or restaurant will have its own rules, so please follow these and maintain social distancing to keep yourself and staff as safe as possible

“Oxford is opening up, and I know that many people will want to go out after pubs, bars and restaurants have been closed for over three months. But the pandemic hasn’t gone away so we’re asking you to book ahead, be careful and maintain social distancing if you’re planning on going out this weekend. Enjoy yourself, but also keep your distance, look out for each other and protect your community.”

Councillor Mary Clarkson, cabinet member for the city centre, Covered Market and culture

"The hospitality sector in Oxford has worked really hard to be ready for this weekend to welcome visitors to the city and to deliver a safe engaging experience to add to the opening of our retail partners in recent weeks. It will be great to see some of our favourite locations reopening for business again. Please do check online before coming into the city as some venues will have restrictions in terms of reservations and numbers in line with the current ‘Know before you Go’ messaging".

Frank Smith, chair of Oxford City Crime Partnership (which includes Pubwatch)