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This is what hospitality businesses & their customers need to know before reopening

Published: Friday, 9 April, 2021

Businesses across the district are making preparations to reopen to the public in line with Step 2 of the Government’s Roadmap which states that hospitality businesses could reopen from 12 April, but only outdoors.

Planning rules for marquees have been temporarily waived so businesses can erect marquees without needing planning permission.

As a result, many businesses are starting to put up marquees and gazebos in gardens to provide shelter for their customers.

Stroud District Council’s Strategic Director of Place, Brendan Cleere said:

“Many of us will be looking forward to going to our local and meeting up with friends once the Government gives the go ahead.

“However, there are a number of regulations which are there for the safety of everyone which we urge business owners to familiarise themselves with before they reopen.”

One such rule applies to the design of outdoor structures which states that at least 50% of the wall area must be permanently open at all times.

Consideration must also be made to the positioning of the marquee. An outdoor structure with only a roof and no walls would be considered outdoors and within the regulations; however, if it is placed in a small courtyard with four surrounding walls within close proximity it would no longer be considered `outdoors’ for the purposes of coronavirus regulations.

There have been important changes to Track and Trace also. Premises must display an updated official NHS QR code poster and every person over the age of 16 must `check in’ – either by QR code or in a log book. Businesses must refuse entry to anyone who refuses to participate, and failure could result in fixed penalty fines.

Other regulations include:

  • For any premises that provide alcohol, customers must order, eat and drink while seated outdoors. They cannot go to a bar or servery area.
  • 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, however…
  • … Social distancing rules will still apply, even within a group of up to 6 or two households. If you are not in the same household or support bubble you should maintain social distancing.
  • Table spacing and one-way systems must be considered to ensure social distancing. There needs to be a distance of 2 metres (1 metre plus with mitigation), between seated groups and for the movement of people around the site.

Businesses that do not normally have chairs and tables outside on the pavement can apply to Stroud District Council for a pavement licence.

Brendan Cleere added: “Our officers are here to guide businesses through the official guidance, and we’ll be carrying out spot checks to ensure garden structures are safe. If you have any concerns or problems, please do let us know.”

There is more guidance on our website: 

More detailed advice about outdoor structures is here:

Businesses that are registered with the NHS will receive an updated QR code poster by email. More information is here:

You can contact Stroud District Council’s Environmental Health team by emailing or by calling 01453 766321 and pressing option 5.

To apply for a table licence contact our Licensing team by emailing or by calling 01453 766321.

This information is correct at time of publication and could be subject to change.

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