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Covid-19 Advice for Pubs, Bars and Restaurants selling alcohol

Re-opening premises

Public houses, bars and restaurants have been able to re-open from 4 July 2020. Nightclubs still remain closed.

There are strict conditions. Pubs and restaurants will be required to take appropriate measures to ensure they are 'Covid-19 secure' and safe for staff and customers. Trading will only be allowed when:

  • the numbers of staff and customers on the premises are limited
  • table service-only is provided (this includes pubs)
  • the contact details of all customers are collected and retained (to assist with track and trace)

The government has published guidelines for hospitality businesses to follow:

Opening certain businesses and venues in England from 4 July 2020

Restaurants, Pubs, Bars and Takeaway Services

Visitor economy for Hotels

Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace

If you run a food business, the Food Standards Agency has published specific advice to help you reopen:

https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/reopening-and-adapting-your-food-business-during-covid-19

Re-opening Considerations

  1. Ensure your premises Licence is current and you have paid your annual fee. If you are looking to alter your hours of opening or make significant change to your operation you may need to apply for a variation (link to our webpage).  If you have any concerns contact the Licensing Department for advice.
  2. Ensure that your current Designated Premises Supervisor is named on the Premises Licence and there have not been any recent changes.
  3. Ensure that you update your current risk assessments to reflect Covid-19 Infection Control and Social Distancing.
  4. Ensure your premises are safe to reopen and that essential maintenance and necessary alternations have been undertaken.

Modification of Premises Licences to authorise off-sales for a limited period

The Business and Planning Act which came into force on 22 July 2020 allows off-sales without the need for a variation application including delivery of alcohol.

Premises that are not currently authorised to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises at all (i.e. on sales only) will be authorised to provide off-sales until 30 September 2021 without the need to make any application to the licensing authority. Such off-sales can be made any any time when the premises are open for sale of alcohol for consumption on the premises, subject to a cut-off time of 11.00pm or the closure time of an existing outdoor area whichever is earlier.

If you are already permitted on and off-sales.

For premises that are already authorised to sell alcohol for consumption both on and off the premises, the following conditions or types of conditions are suspended:

  • any conditions restricting the time when an off sale may be made (when the premises is also open for the sale of alcohol for consumption on the premises)
  • any condition that would prevent alcohol being sold in an open container (for example a condition requiring off sales to be in sealed containers only)
  • any condition that would prevent off sales where it is a sale for delivery

In other words, if you have on sales and are open for the sale of alcohol for consumption on the premises then you can provide off sales in open containers to the times you are permitted for on-sales.

Exceptions

Premises with on-sales only will not qualify for off-sales if a “Disqualifying Event” has occurred in the previous three years that is:

  1. if the licensing authority refused to grant a premises licence authorising off-sales;
  2. if the licensing authority refused to vary a premises licence so as to authorise off-sales; or
  3. the premises licence was varied or modified so as to exclude off-sales from the scope of the licence.

Duration

These changes will continue until 30 September 2021 or if the permission is revoked or off-sales are excluded from the scope of the licence.

Further guidance is available on gov.uk - Alcohol licensing: guidance on new temporary off-sales permissions

 

 

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