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Government issues updated Guidance for Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services

Revised guidance for England with changes to local restrictions on 2nd December included

“The Government has updated its “Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services – Guidance for people who work in or run restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes or takeaways” in light of the announced changes taking place to local restrictions from (and including) 2nd December.

The full Guidance, which we recommend is read in full, can be found here.”

Below is an excerpt of the headline announcements from the Guidance itself:

“The government has announced that the current national restrictions will be replaced on 2 December with a regionally-differentiated approach, where different tiers of restrictions apply in different parts of the country.

There are 3 tiers for local restrictions:

  • Tier 1: Medium alert
  • Tier 2: High alert
  • Tier 3: Very High alert

It is right to target the toughest measures only in areas where the virus is most prevalent and where we are seeing sharper increases in the rate of infection.

From (and including) 2 December, most businesses and venues will be allowed to open, following COVID-19 Secure guidelines.

This guidance sets out the restrictions that certain businesses and venues in England are required to follow.

Find out which tier your business will be in.

Restrictions for the hospitality sector vary according to tier.

Areas under Tier 1: Medium alert

In areas under Tier 1: Medium alert:

  • any social gatherings of more than 6 people will be against the law – exemptions apply.
  • businesses must not accept a table booking for a group of more than 6 individuals or admit a group of more than 6 people, unless there is a qualifying exemption
  • businesses must take reasonable steps to prevent separate groups from mingling with each other within indoor and outdoor settings
  • businesses selling food or drink (including cafes, bars, pubs, restaurants and takeaways) must be closed between 11pm and 5am, with last orders for food and drink having been placed by 10pm. Delivery services (including drive-through service) are exempt and can continue after 10pm provided they are not allowing customers on the premises. Bars and cafes within open premises, such as hotels or theatres, must also close at 11pm with last orders for food and drink having been placed by 10pm. Venues inside ports, transport services and motorway service areas are not required to close between 11pm and 5pm, but must not sell alcohol after 10pm.
  • in venues which sell alcohol, food and drink must be ordered by, and served to, customers who are seated. This means that a business that sells alcohol must introduce systems to take orders from seated customers, instead of at a bar or counter. This applies to both indoor and outdoor settings
  • all businesses selling food or drink must ensure that customers only consume food or drink while seated. This means that in unlicensed premises, food and drink can be purchased at a counter, but customers must sit down to consume it, even in outdoor settings

Areas under Tier 2: High alert

In areas under Tier 2: High alert, restrictions from Tier 1: Medium alert apply.

The following restrictions also apply:

  • individuals can only meet in indoor settings with other members of their own household or support bubble
  • businesses must only accept indoor bookings for individuals from one household or support bubble
  • businesses must take reasonable steps to prevent individuals from separate households or bubbles from mingling with each other in indoor settings
  • venues must close unless they operate as if they were a restaurant. This means serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal. They may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal
  • businesses that do not ordinarily serve food may enter into a contracting arrangement in order that they are able to do so and remain open. However, allowing customers to bring food into the premises that had been purchased elsewhere in order to consume alcohol remains prohibited

Areas under Tier 3: Very High alert

In areas under Tier 3: Very High alert:

  • businesses selling food and drink (including alcohol) must close, but can sell food and non-alcoholic drinks through takeaway, click-and-collect, drive through or delivery. Businesses can only sell alcohol through click-and-collect, drive through and delivery to customers who order it in advance via phone, internet, mobile app or post
  • businesses should ensure that customers who collect pre-ordered food or drink do not enter the premises to collect their orders. Where possible businesses should take payment prior to collection of an order to limit contact between customers and staff
  • businesses may serve food and non-alcoholic drinks to customers to takeaway in the premises between 5am and 10pm

Please read the priority actions and full guidance”

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