Covid Regulation Guidance and Information for Licensed Premises

FAQ's and guidance

News and updates

17.05.2021 Indoor hospitality to reopen

The Prime Minister has confirmed that from the 17 May:

  • Indoor hospitality can reopen and indoor entertainment can resume, including cinemas, museums, and children’s play areas.
  • Up to 6 people or 2 households will be able to meet indoors and up to 30 people outdoors.

09.04.2021 Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaways services guidance updated

The updates to the guidance are:

No Earlier than 12th April 2021 - Hospitality Venues

Please note that the information on this page is based on what we know now but it may change as further guidance and legislation is released by the Government

FAQs for Hospitality Businesses

  • Can I open from April 12th?

If the Government has confirmed that Step 2 of the Roadmap has started, you will be able to open outdoors only

  • Does it have to be table service only?

Yes, for any premises that provide alcohol, your customers must order, eat and drink while seated outdoors. They cannot go to a bar or servery area.

  • What are the rules for social distancing?

The rule of 6 or two households will apply. This means that groups of 6 persons from different households, or any number of persons from up to two households, can sit together.

Social distancing rules will still apply between the groups of up to 6 or two households.

You will need to review your table spacing and consider one-way systems to ensure social distancing.  With the mitigation of being an outside space, you will need at least 1 metre distancing between seated groups and for the movement of people around the site.

  • Do Staff have to wear face coverings?

This is not yet clear, but we assume that staff will not have to wear them outside but will need to put on a face covering if they enter inside area. We recommend, for customer and staff safety, that staff should be wearing suitable face coverings both inside and outside.

  • Do Customers have to wear face coverings?

This is not yet clear, but we assume that customers in outside areas will not have to wear face coverings. However, they must be wearing a face covering when accessing any inside areas such as toilets.

  • Can sale of alcohol be with a meal only?

No, there will be no need for customers to order a substantial meal with alcohol.

  • Will there be a curfew?

No, there will be no national curfew but any outdoor restrictions on your premises licence will still apply.

  • Can customers use inside toilets?

Yes, customers will be able to use inside toilets and facilities, but you will need to risk assess and have procedures in place to make sure these areas are Covid safe. Customers will need to be wearing a face covering when using these inside areas.

  • Can customers go through inside areas to access an outside area?

Yes, your customers will be able to pass through an inside area to access a garden or outside area. But you will need to manage this to make sure that there are no bottlenecks and that people are not queuing or gathering inside waiting to get to the outside area. You could consider having a one-way system, or customers to queue outside until the inside area is clear; or you might consider only operating pre-bookings for tables.

  • Will I still have to have a Covid risk assessment?

 Yes, you will need to demonstrate robust controls for managing the risk of transmission and to ensure social distancing rules are followed.

  • Do I need to comply with Track and Trace?

Yes, you will need to display an official NHS QR code poster, and collect contact details for customers not able to use the code, for NHS Test and Trace. Here is more information. 

  • Can I have a marquee, gazebo or similar structure?

Any gazebos, marquees or similar must meet the definitions in the Smokefree regulations in order to be classed as outside. So at least 50% of the wall area must be permanently open at all times.

Please also see our guide (pdf).

Planning rules for marquees have been temporarily extended, pubs can have marquees up for two months without needing planning permission

  • Can I put tables and chairs on the pavement?

If you do not normally have chairs and tables outside on the pavement you can apply for a pavement licence. See our web page on pavement licences

  • Links to other guidance

Government Guidance on Reopening Businesses and Venues

6th January 2021 - National Lockdown

  • When do National Lockdown rules start?

National Lockdown starts from the beginning of 6th January 2021

  • Which hospitality businesses must remain closed?

Hospitality settings, such as bars pubs, cafes, restaurants, and social clubs have been required to close since Boxing Day 2020. This includes restaurants and bars within hotels or member’s clubs.

  • Can hospitality venues do a takeaway service for food and non-alcoholic drinks ?

Yes, hospitality venues can continue to do takeaway, delivery, drive thru and click and collect  for food and non-alcoholic drinks.

Customers can enter the venue to place and collect their order up to 23.00.  

After 23.00 customers cannot enter the venue. However delivery, drive thru and click and collect services for food and drink can continue after 23.00. Click and collect after 23.00 can only operate where goods are pre-ordered (by phone, online, via a mobile app or by post) and collected without entering the venue. 

(Venues selling hot food and drink between 23.00 and 05.00 must have a premises licence for late night refreshment).

  • Can hospitality venues sell alcohol as a takeaway?

No, this has changed, hospitality venues can now only sell alcohol as an off sale through a delivery service.  Hospitality venues can no longer serve alcohol as a takeaway, drive thru or click-and-collect service.

  • Can customers drink takeaway food or takeaway  non alcoholic drink in a beer garden or stood or seated near the venue?

No, food or drink purchased from a hospitality venues as a takeaway or click-and-collect may not be consumed on any part of the venue, including beer gardens, as well as adjacent seating to the venue.