Premises restrictions and events from 24 September 2020
A summary of the main provisions that are likely to be most relevant to your business are set out below following the amendment of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions)(No.2)(England)(Amendment)(No.5) Regulations 2020 on business restrictions to close between 10pm and 5am, and service of food and drink for consumption ‘on’ the premises. You're advised to also read (‘the regulations’), which can be found on the GOV.uk website.
A summary of the main provisions that are likely to be most relevant to your business are set out below.
Restrictions on opening hours
There are a number of premises and businesses that must close during the emergency period between the hours of 10pm and 5am. Full details are available in schedule 3 of the regulations. Of particular relevance, the following businesses must close at 10pm:
- Public houses
- Bars, including bars in hotels or members’ clubs
- Restaurants, including restaurants and dining rooms in hotels or members’ clubs
Food or drink for consumption ‘off’ the premises between the hours of 10pm and 5am must:
- Be delivered, in response to an order through a website (other online communication), telephone (including text) or by post
- If the purchaser (customer) collects following an order, the food or drink must be passed to them and the purchaser or any other person must not leave the vehicle.
Restrictions on service of food and drink for consumption on the premises
A business which serves alcohol for consumption ‘on’ the premises may sell food or drink for consumption ‘on’ the premises only if:
- The food or drink is ordered by, and served to, a customer who is seated on the premises; and
- The person takes all reasonable steps to ensure that the customer remains seated whilst consuming the food or drink on the premises.
Requirement to request individuals' details, display QR code and maximum groups of six
Further government regulations that you are strongly advised to familiarise yourself with (includes but is not limited to):
- You must display and make available the QR code at the premises. You must request a name and number of each individual, the numbers of persons in their group and the date and time they entered the premises - further information.
- You must restrict groups to a maximum of six persons per table, other groups must not mingle and there is to be an ‘appropriate distance’ between tables - further information.
- Wearing of face coverings unless seated for food or drink - further information.
Are you considering entertainment or an event?
As the event organiser and/or applicant for a temporary event notice, you must ensure you are sufficiently aware of the current legislation and government guidance relating to the coronavirus, and take steps to ensure your event is fully compliant. If you do not effectively manage your event, you risk increasing the prevalence of the coronavirus in your communities, which may lead to us giving directions to close or restrict activities at individual premises, events and in public open spaces where there is evidence of a serious and imminent threat to public health.
If your event is not permitted by the legislation you must not proceed with your application or allow the event to go ahead. If your event is permitted, but you are unable to provide a suitable risk assessment, or demonstrate that you have taken all reasonable measures, including taking into account relevant government guidance to limit the risk of the transmission of the coronavirus, we would strongly advise that you do not proceed with your application or go ahead with your event as you, and those who attend your event, may commit criminal offences. Please email your risk assessment to email@example.com, providing ample time for public health to review, and if necessary provide advice.
We specifically draw your attention to the risks associated with live performances, in particular music, and that these risks will be compounded where alcohol consumption is also involved at your event. We recognise that you may find the government guidance on this issue lacks clarity. However, we have serious concerns that live performances will attract larger gatherings of customers who will exhibit non-compliant Covid-secure behaviours, eg dancing, shouting and/or moving closer to each other to be heard, loud group singing, etc, which will be exceptionally challenging, if not impossible, to manage in a way that effectively prevents the transmission of the coronavirus. On this basis we very strongly discourage live performances at events as they are likely to increase the risk of coronavirus transmission and may lead to criminal breaches of the legislation by you and those who attend your event. If you have any concerns that you would be unable to prevent people dancing or your risk assessment leaves you with any doubts that you may not be able to effectively manage customer behaviour in a Covid-secure way, then we strongly advise that you do not proceed with your application or go ahead with your event.
You are advised to read The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) (England) Regulations 2020 (’the Regulations’), which can be found on the Gov.uk website, and ensure you understand the implications for your event.
An amendment was made to ‘the Regulations’ on 13 September 2020 to restrict gatherings consisting of more than six people. The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) (England) (Amendment) (No.4) Regulations 2020 can be found on the GOV.UK website. Further government guidance for the amendment can be found on the same website, which we strongly advise that you familiarise yourself with and ensure you understand the implications prior to any event.
A summary of the main provisions that are likely to be most relevant to your event are set out below.
A “gathering” is when people are present together in the same place in order to engage in any form of social interaction with each other, or to undertake any other activity with each other.
Outdoor and private gatherings
Gatherings of six or more people that take place in private dwellings, including houseboats, are prohibited.
Gatherings of six or more people that take place:
- On a vessel (not being used for public transport), or
- In a public outdoor place (unless it is operated by a business, charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution or a public body as a visitor attraction or is part of premises used for the operation of a business, charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution or a public body)
...are only lawful if all of the following criteria apply:
- The gathering has been organised by a business, a charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution, a public body, or a political body; and
- The person responsible for organising the gathering (“the gathering organiser”) has carried out a risk assessment which would satisfy the requirements of regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, whether or not the gathering organiser is subject to those Regulations; and
- The gathering organiser has taken all reasonable measures to limit the risk of transmission of the coronavirus, taking into account the risk assessment, and for this purpose any relevant guidance issued by the government must be taken into account.
'Indoor raves' consisting of more than six persons are prohibited.
Gatherings of any number of people that take place indoors (but not in a private dwelling), eg in pubs, bars, restaurants, cinemas and theatres, and do not fall within the definition of an 'indoor rave', are permitted, providing they are 'Covid-secure'. Further government guidance is available on the Gov.UK website to assist you in determining what this means.
Premises and businesses that must remain closed
There are a number of premises and businesses that must remain closed. Full details are available in Schedule 2 to the regulations. Of particular relevance to your event is that the following businesses must remain closed:
- Dance halls, discotheques, and any other venue which opens at night, has a dance floor or other space for dancing by members of the public, and provides music, whether live or recorded, for dancing.
However, these business can remain open if they cease to provide music and dancing.
Further government guidance that you are strongly advised to familiarise yourself with includes (but is not limited to):
- Coronavirus outbreaks FAQs: what you can and can’t do, particularly the section entitled 'Gatherings, public spaces, and activities'
- Working safely during coronavirus – performing arts (includes advice on providing outdoor and indoor regulated entertainment)
Should you wish to discuss any of the matters raised or require further advice, please do not hesitate to contact our Licensing Team prior to the event taking place.