Coronavirus and Licensing
Licensing Act 2003 (sale or supply of alcohol, late night refreshment and regulated entertainment)
What do I have to do before I can reopen my pub/restaurant/cafe?
You will be able to reopen your premises from 0600hrs on 4 July 2020 if you are able to comply with the Government Guidance for working safely during Coronavirus ensuring you, your staff, and customers are kept safe.
- Risk Assessment: You must ensure you are able to meet the Covid-19 secure requirements by carrying out a specific risk assessment and implementing any changes identified
- Management of Food & Drink: You can open and allow customers to make use of the inside seating areas of your premises but only table service will be permitted and must be used alongside other measures as identified in your risk assessment. Customers not seated inside will be required to leave. Table service should also be used in outdoor areas where possible.
- Customer contacts: You must keep a record of your customers and visitors details for 21 days to assist NHS Test and Trace. As a minimum you should record customers' full names and contact telephone number along with the date and time of their visit.
- Data Protection: Due to the requirement to collect personal data it is important you handle this data lawfully. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has released guidance regarding this: https://ico.org.uk/global/data-protection-and-coronavirus-information-hub/coronavirus-recovery-six-data-protection-steps-for-organisations/ To make things a little easier, here are the key messages for licence holders:
- Only collect the minimum amount of information necessary for contact tracing. The necessary information appears to be limited to a person's full name, contact phone number or email address and the date and times of their visit. Collecting anything more puts you at risk of breaching data protection law – especially if that includes recording any information about a person's health condition.
- Tell customers what data you are collecting and why. One important requirement of data protection law is to provide a privacy notice which tells people what information about them you are collecting, why you are collecting it and what will happen to it (principally who it will be shared with and how long you will hold onto it for). This can be done by a notice on your website and displayed at the entrance to your premises. A suggested wording could be:
- Waste management: Contact your waste collections provider to reactivate your collection where these have been suspended. Consider whether additional collections or additional bins are required to manage any increase in demand such as from single-use items that may need to be disposed of.
Who can I contact about making changes to my premises to ensure it is Covid-19 safe?
Please keep in mind that changes to the layout of your premises may require an application to be made under the Licensing Act 2003. Before making any changes, please contact the Licensing Team for advice. If you need assistance with developing your Covid-19 Risk Assessment, please refer to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance available online.
Who will make sure that the new Regulations are complied with?
Environmental Health, Licensing and Trading Standards Officers will monitor compliance with the Regulations, with Police support provided if appropriate. Businesses and premises that breach them may be subject to prohibition notices, fixed penalty notices or prosecution.
We are preparing to reopen but my Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) has called in sick and has to self-isolate. Do I need to specify a new DPS?
In circumstances where someone is self-isolating because of concerns about possible Covid-19 symptoms you do not need to apply to vary the DPS. We would however advise that the DPS make sure, now, that their letter of authority is current and up to date to allow deputies, assistants and other staff to operate the business in their absence. Template authorisations are available from the Licensing Team. If your DPS will not be returning to the business, you will need to apply to specify a new supervisor immediately.
My annual fee was due whilst my premises was shut, can I reopen without paying it or pay a reduced fee to reflect the time my premises has been closed?
Whilst the Government has made a statement in relation to the payment of business rates, unfortunately, no such statement or relief has been provided in relation to payment of annual fees due under the Licensing Act 2003. You will therefore need to ensure that you pay your annual fee as usual in order to avoid your premises licence being suspended. If your fee was due during the period your premises was closed, you will need to pay before you resume trading.
How long are the new rules likely to last for?
The new measures come into force on 4 July 2020 and will be reviewed by the Government regularly.
For further support and advice on opening and operating safely please go to: https://www.cravendc.gov.uk/coronavirus-advice-and-information/working-safely-during-covid-19/