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May 17 reopening announcement

What you need to know about Step 3 opening for the hospitality sector

As the Prime Minister announced yesterday, from Monday 17 May indoor hospitality can reopen and indoor entertainment can resume, including cinemas, museums, and children’s play areas.

Up to 6 people or 2 households will be able to meet indoors and up to 30 people outdoors (unless a specific exemption exists).

All remaining outdoor entertainment can reopen, such as outdoor cinemas and performances.

Some larger events will be able to take place, including conferences, theatre and concert performances, and sports events. Restrictions on the number of attendees will remain as set out in the Roadmap.

What is Step 3 in a nutshell

Firstly, venues/sectors perceived as higher risk such as nightclubs, hostess bars and sexual entertainment venues are still not permitted to reopen, although generally speaking they can ‘re-purpose’, for example as a bar.

Apart from these and specific restrictions relating to restaurants, cafés, bars, pubs, social clubs (including members’ clubs) and casinos, there are no other premises which must remain closed in Step 3 or restrict the way they run their business (subject to usual social distancing, Covid risk assessments and capacity caps detailed further below).

In terms of Gambling premises, AGC, Bingo and Casino can open from 17th May. Betting shops, that have been open since 12th April, can continue to operate as they have been.

In short therefore, if you are not a nightclub, dance hall, sexual entertainment venue etc then you can open, both indoors and outdoors. If you are a restaurant, café, bar, pub, social club or casino then you can open subject to restrictions on how you serve food and drink on the premises (set out in the document below)). All businesses must continue to comply with updated Covid guidance and regulations relating to Test and Trace, social distancing and the number of people in a group.

We have produced this useful guide which answers some of the most common questions operators have on this topic.

For further information on this or any other alcohol licensing issue, please contact licensing solicitor Suraj Desor

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