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No Earlier than 12th April 2021 - Hospitality Venues

Please note that this information is based on Government guidance, which may be subject to change

FAQs for Hospitality Businesses


Can I open from April 12th 2021?

  • Yes, Step 2 of the Roadmap has started, you can 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.

Can customers go inside to pay?

  • Yes, a customer may legally make a payment indoors rather than outdoors at the table should this not be possible. You should ensure only one customer is indoors at any time for the purpose of making payment, and you should operate a tab system to ensure that customers do not need to make multiple indoor payments during their time at the venue.

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. You will need 2 metre distancing, or 1 metre plus with mitigation, between seated groups and for the movement of people around the site.
  • Don't forget that  government guidance does say “You should maintain social distancing from anyone who is not in your household or support bubble". We recommend that your tables are large enough to allow people seated at them, who are from different households to still keep a social distance apart.

Do Staff have to wear face coverings?

  • Staff do 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?

  • Customers in outside areas do 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 is  no need for customers to order a substantial meal with alcohol.

Will there be a curfew?

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

Can customers use inside toilets?

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

Has there been a change to Track and Trace rules?

  • Yes,  you need to be aware that there have been some important changes to the rules. 
  • It is no longer just the lead member of the group that needs to sign in, but every adult in the party over 16 must sign in individually.
  • Under 16s are exempt from needing to sign into track and trace
  • You must refuse entry to your premises if a customer refuses to sign in for track and trace.  So you need to be prepared and have system in place to refuse service to persons who will not engage in the process.
  • You should display an official NHS QR code poster at your premises, the QR posters are being updated and if you are registered already with the NHS you will be emailed a new one. However the old posters will still be valid and the code on them will work.
  •  You should also have a manual log book or other way to collect contact details for customers who do not have a mobile phone and are not able to use the QR code.
  • Here is a link to guidance on venue check in regulations
  • Here is more information about the NHS QR codes.  


Can I have a marquee, gazebo or similar structure?

Can I have live or recorded music performances in an outside area?

Live and recorded music is permitted but the volume should be kept low at a background level. The music should be incidental to customers who are seated to eat and drink at your premises. You should not be advertising or selling tickets for a specific music event.

This information is based on the following Government Guidance.

  • The Government guidelines for restaurants and pubs, under the priority actions section, say: you should prevent shouting, singing and dancing in the venue by making sure that music and broadcasts are played at low volume.
  • The Government guidelines for local authorities on organised events say: an event can take place if it's outdoors; and attendees are expected to arrive and leave the event in a staggered manner throughout the day; and it does not involve attendees converging on and congregating in a site for a specific discrete performance or activity, such as a theatre or music performance.


Can I show live television?

Yes, but you should prevent shouting, singing and dancing in the venue by making sure that broadcasts are played at low volume.


Can I sell alcohol to takeaway?

  • Yes you can sell alcohol to takeaway using alcohol off-sales. However the customers should not be gathering in the vicinity of your premises to consume the alcohol.

Can I put tables and chairs on the pavement?

Links to other guidance

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