Throughout August, restaurants in the UK are taking part in the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme. In an effort to tempt people back into restaurants, cafés, and pubs, the government is offering diners discounts on food and soft drinks. However, with daily numbers of new cases beginning to creep up again, many people are reluctant to take part. There is also some confusion around how exactly the scheme works. When can you use the discount? How much can you save? Which restaurants are participating? And, most importantly, is it safe to Eat Out?
What is the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ Scheme?
This is Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s answer to the economic decline that coronavirus has caused. From 3rd to 31st August, the government will provide 50% discounts on food and soft drinks up to £10 per person. Hungry customers could save lots through the scheme, since you can use it as many times as you like. There is no minimum spend and some places will even let you combine the discount with their own offers. However, it’s only available when you choose to eat inside, something lots of us are still nervous about. Takeaway and drive-through orders will not be eligible for the discount. Despite persisting fears around Covid-19 (and slowly rising infection rates), diners ate more than 10 million discounted meals in the scheme’s first week alone.
When Can I ‘Eat Out to Help Out’?
You can claim your 50% discount at any participating restaurant between 3rd and 31st August 2020. The discount is only valid on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Therefore, there are 13 days this month where you could save on your bill. It’s important to note, however, that the discount does not apply to alcoholic drinks.
Which Restaurants are Participating?
More than 72,000 restaurants, cafés, and pubs have signed up to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. You can use this tool on the government website to find out if your favourite local eatery is involved. Just enter your postcode to find your nearest eligible restaurants. In addition, you can browse this list of chain restaurants that have signed up to the scheme.
Is it Safe to Eat Out?
Regardless of consumer spending, economic decline, or GDP, the fact remains that coronavirus is still a significant risk. If you are worried about catching the virus, particularly if you are in one of the clinically vulnerable groups, the safest thing to do would be to avoid enclosed public places like shops and restaurants where the risk of transmission is highest.
Pubs, restaurants, and other non-essential businesses have only been able to re-open if they are ‘Covid-19 Secure’. This means that they have proper social distancing measures in place with compulsory table service. You can minimise your risk by dining with members of your own household (even though two households are allowed to dine together) and staying at your table throughout your visit. Experts suggest trying to avoid using restaurant/pub toilets if you can. Nevertheless, Eating Out To Help Out is not risk free.
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