Ahead of pubs, bars and restaurants in England being permitted to re-open for business at 6am tomorrow (4 July 2020) as permitted by The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020, trade bodies UKHospitality and the BBPA (together with the British Institute of Innkeeping) have produced a helpful document entitled “FAQs on COVID-19 Secure Workplace Guidance for Pubs” in order to provide some additional clarity on key questions from pub operators and licensees (that you can download below). The following FAQs are answered in the document:
- Is a risk assessment required?
- Do I have to get permission from the police or local authority to reopen?
- Is my COVID-19 risk assessment linked to my premises licence?
- What happens if I don’t undertake a risk assessment, or fail to implement mitigations?
- Can the police shut my pub if they believe I’m not following the guidance?
- What is the social distancing requirement for a pub?
- Can I screen football matches?
- Do my customers need to pre-book?
- Do I have to take customers’ contact details when they come to my pub? If so, how do I do this?
- Do I have to refuse entry to a customer that will not provide their contact details?
- Is there anything that I strictly must not do under the guidance?
- What groups are allowed to meet in my pub?
- For customers indoors, can I only offer table service or are customers allowed to be served at the bar?
- Can customers use the fruit machines?
- Can I operate a carvery?
- Must I put PPE measures in place for staff and/or customers – is this a legal requirement?
- Do I need to put up plastic screens as part of risk mitigation measures and in order to reopen
- What are the publican’s responsibilities with regards to keeping customers socially-distant at all times?
- What responsibility does the publican have for checking that any groups that meet at the pub are complying with the guidance on households etc?
The government has published updated guidance to take account of all businesses and venues in England being able to reopen from 4 July 2020 (which now includes theatres as well as cinemas), except for the following which must remain closed:
- Nightclubs, dance halls, discotheques
- Sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars
- Bowling alleys
- Indoor skating rinks
- Indoor play areas, including soft-play areas
- Nail bars and salons and beauty salons
- Tanning booths and salons
- Massage parlours
- Tattoo parlours
- Body and skin piercing services
- Indoor fitness and dance studios
- Indoor gyms and sports courts and facilities
- Indoor and outdoor swimming pools, including water parks
- Exhibition halls or conference centres must remain closed for events such as exhibitions or conferences, other than for those who work for the business or organisation who run the venue.
You can download below the following items of updated government guidance:
- entitled “Closing certain businesses and venues in England“,
- entitled “Keeping workers and customers safe during COVID-19 in restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services“,
- entitled “Staying alert and safe (social distancing)“,
- entitled “Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace” (in relation to which it should also be noted that the Information Commissioner’s Office has issued guidance to businesses collecting personal data for contact tracing),
- for hotels and other guest accommodation and
- for ‘the visitor economy‘, i.e. for people who work in hotels and guest accommodation, indoor and outdoor attractions, and business events and consumer shows.
Pubs, cafes and restaurants in Wales will be permitted to re-open outdoors in Wales from 13 July 2020 and indoors from 3 August 2020, if cases of coronavirus continue to fall. Such premises are presently scheduled to reopen outdoors in Scotland on 6 July 2020 and indoors from 15 July 2020.
1. In addition, you can download below guidance published by Nexstart – that describes itself as “a cross sector group looking to reduce risk for gambling premises operating during the current pandemic and so ensure the safety of the public, premises staff and officers and provide clarity for all involved” – entitled:
- “Gaming machines in licensed bingo premises and adult gaming centres” and
- “General compliance issues“
2. Nexstart has also published a helpful commentary on the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020 (that you can also download below).
3. The Government announced on 14 July 2020 that wearing a face covering in shops and supermarkets in England will become mandatory from 24 July 2020, with a potential £100 fine for those who fail to comply. However, Environment Secretary George Eustice has subsequently confirmed that, whilst the mandatory use of face coverings in England will apply to all shops, it will not apply to pubs and restaurants. He told Sky News:
We’re not, for instance, mandating the wearing of masks in pubs and restaurants because obviously people have got to eat. We’ve been evolving the measures as we come out of lock-down and strengthening the guidance progressively on masks, making it mandatory first on public transport and now we’re going to that next step to make it mandatory in retail environments.
4. On 17 July 2020, it was announced that casinos and some other leisure venues in England (but not nightclubs) will be permitted to re-open on 1 August 2020, as reported by us here.