Preparation for step 2: Advice for the hospitality industry

Government and Council advice for Hospitality sector

In preparation for Step 2, which could be from 12 April at the earliest, will mean that Hospitality venues will be allowed to serve people outdoors with no need for customers to order a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks and no curfew.

Although customers must order, eat and drink while seated (‘table service’), and wider social contact rules will apply to prevent indoor mixing between different households, we can confirm the Government and Council’s guidance and measures in place to support this.

Government Hospitality Support Measures:

  • The measures introduced to support restaurants, drinking establishments such as pubs and cafes to serve takeaway food when they were otherwise closed due to coronavirus restrictions will continue to apply until March 2022.
  • The provision for businesses to hold outdoor events such as summer fairs or motorsports on land without the need for a planning application, while events such as car-boot sales, or people or businesses such as pubs wishing to set up marquees will also be exempt, has been extended until 31 December 2021, and the number of days allowed for such temporary events has been increased from 28 to 56.
  • The simplified route for pubs, restaurants and cafes to obtain a temporary pavement licence to place furniture including outdoor tables and seating on the highway, allowing them to increase their outdoor capacity quickly and at a low cost, continues to apply (see below).

BwD Council Guidance:

Please find attached Guidance from the Council for the Hospitality Sector on the Roadmap and Steps out of Lockdown.  Here are some key points:

Step 2 is the first step in the reopening of pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants for consumption of food and drink on the premises.  Some key points are

  • There will be no restrictions on opening hours (other than any specific planning or licensing restrictions that may apply) and for sale of alcohol. There will not be a requirement to purchase a substantial meal with a drink.
  • However, the following restrictions and limitations will apply to all hospitality businesses: –
    • Outdoor service only (this means that any structure must be at least 50% open to the air)
    • Table service only (for ordering, consumption and payment)
    • Maximum number of 2 households or up to 6 people from different households per table
    • Social Distancing requirements will apply (2m or reduction to 1m with mitigation)
    • Customers to wear face covering when passing through permitted indoor areas e.g. for toilet usage.
  • Hospitality Businesses should consider the following before reopening:-
    • Review your Covid safe measures and risk assessment, including refresher training for staff, signage and queue management
    • If you intend to open for outdoor service on or after the 12th April, you must assess how many customers you can safely accommodate, seated, allowing for adequate Social Distancing, queue management, ordering and payment. 
    • Make sure you have enough trained staff to manage your customers safely and in accordance with the regulations and guidance. Make sure your customers understand your rules and maximum capacity. 
    • Where possible, let customers know about your rules and seating capacity before you open. Using Social Media is a good way to get the message out and manage customer expectations. NB Please tag in @BlackburnBID so we can help share your safety messages too.
    • Make sure you have systems in place to take orders and payments at the table
    • If you provide food, ensure your kitchen staff review your food supplies for durability dates, condition and labelling
    • Check for any pest activity
    • Make sure your staff have the necessary food, safety and Covid awareness training. Refreshers courses are recommended for all.
    • Carry out a deep clean of your Kitchen ready for trading
    • If you have been closed for a while check your water system is safe from Legionella. More information can be found here: legionella-guidance-covid-19.pdf (cieh.org)
    • Review your menu and allergens controls. It’s recommended to keep your menu simple
    • Consider introducing Covid testing for your staff. More information about this can be found here Test, trace, self-isolate | Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council
  • Pavement Café Licence 
    • If you need to use a pavement to accommodate outdoor seating you will need to apply for a pavement café licence. If you already have a licence but want to change the area you use you may need to apply to amend it.  Please be aware that there is a formal 7-day public consultation.  Please contact the licensing team on licensingteam@blackburn.gov.ukand an application pack will be returned back to you.  To be in time for 12 April applications should be received by Friday 26th March 2021.  NB If you already have a pavement café licence and you don’t need to change it, you don’t need to make any further applications.
  • Future dates and forward planning – a precautionary warning
    • Please keep in mind that the dates mentioned in the roadmap are provisional dates. This means the Government will monitor the number of new Covid cases and if the numbers start to rise again, the dates may be delayed or local restrictions may be imposed.
    • We are all hopeful the dates will not move, and that by the 21st June, most restrictions will have been lifted. But there is no guarantee this will be the case.  Therefore we advise all businesses to be cautious before committing to future events, particularly if this includes ticketed events or where there is a financial commitment. If one date is delayed, this will delay all dates.

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