Pubs and restaurants open their doors to customers across England once this week and while the main rules are clear, there are a few you may not be familiar with.
The common rules state that guests and drinkers may only be served outdoors, may remain seated at all times and may only participate in a group of two or a maximum of six households
But guests and drinkers still have a number of questions, including
- Are pubs allowed to offer entertainment?
- Can pubs do sports outside and if so, can I score a goal?
- Under what conditions can I play darts in the pub?
- What rights do I have if a venue requires proof of vaccination?
Your questions will be answered by Andy Grimsey, Partner in Licensing Experts Poppleston Allen advising some of the UK’s largest pub and restaurant chains.
Q: Under what circumstances and how often under these circumstances can I leave my table and go to a pub or restaurant?
A: When alcohol is served on the premises, it is generally recommended that you remain seated. However, you can leave your seat to use toilets, breastfeed or, if necessary, use changing rooms.
Q: Do I have to order a large meal or a meal with a drink?
On a. Unlike the last time the pubs were open, there is no legal obligation to order food in addition to your drink in order to be served in a building.
Q: What is the official definition of “outside space”? How are pavilions, tents and other temporary structures classified?
A: There is no official legal definition of “outside”, but “inside” is the term defined in any room where smoking is prohibited. If you are not allowed to smoke in this part of the premises, you cannot legally sit and drink there in step 2.
In general, any structure that has a roof – ignoring doors and windows with 50% or less of the sides open – is considered an interior.
Q: Do I still have to keep social distance from other guests and / or my group?
A: Not if you are in an exempt category, e.g. B. in the same household or in a group of six friends, but social distancing should generally be maintained between different tables / groups (2m or 1m + with risk reduction if 2m is not feasible).
Q: Can I go to the pub / restaurant with people outside my household and what are the rules in these circumstances?
A: Yes, in groups of no more than six people or with a different household and only outdoors.
Q: How do recent orders work and when do I have to go? When should customers leave the premises for customs officers?
A: Final orders are dictated by the license holder according to the times specified on their liquor establishment license. There is no general curfew as with previous restrictions.
Q: Can pubs offer any kind of entertainment – if so, what is allowed? (Karaoke, quizzes, live music, etc.)
A: The government guidelines state, “For many restaurants, pubs and bars, providing entertainment such as recorded music, live sports broadcasts, quizzes, live musicians or comedians is an important part of their business.”
Steps that typically need to be taken before offering entertainment:
1. Determine the viability of entertainment and the maximum number of viewers, consistent with social distancing outside and inside of venues and other safety concerns.
2. Preventing entertainment such as shows that may encourage audience behavior and increase the risk of broadcast. For example, loud background music, dancing together, group singing or singing.
Q: If so, can I leave my seat / sitting position to dance / join the conversation.
A: Government guidelines state that venues should reduce music and other background noise and prevent screaming, singing, and dancing in the venue by ensuring that music and broadcasts are played at low volume.
Q: Can pubs show live sports outside? If so, can I leave my seat to celebrate a goal / is singing or singing allowed?
A: Yes, pubs can show live sport outdoors, subject to government directives not to allow people to leave a seat to celebrate a goal or to sing or sing in groups, i.e. behaviors that increase the risk of transmission .
Q: Can I play a fruit machine, quiz machine, darts, pool, or other form of sedentary entertainment – indoors or outdoors?
A: You are not allowed to enter a pub to use the toilets, change babies, etc. for any reason other than payment, etc. It would be possible to play darts or billiards outside, which are subject to a COVID risk assessment, e.g. B. Cleaning instructions, darts, etc.
Q: What are the pint takeaway rules and can I take my drink with me if I leave a licensed property? Do the same rules apply to customers who drink take-away pints as to customers who are seated, or are there significant differences?
A: There is no national ban on take-away pints. Generally “off-sales” are allowed, but it is important that such drinks are removed from the premises and not consumed in an “adjacent” area which the rules could treat as part of the premises and therefore require table service.
Q: Can venues still require proof of vaccination – if so, what are my rights?
A: Venues may refuse entry for any reason, provided that this is non-discriminatory under equality laws (e.g. based on gender, race, religion, disability, etc.).
Q: As a licensee or employee, can I still ask customers for a vaccination certificate, temperature check, or other proof that they don’t have Covid-19 – or is it illegal?
A: Yes, see above.
Q: What are the legal requirements for licensees and customers for Test and Trace?
A: All customers must provide details either through the app or on-site. Venues must also display the official NHS QR poster.
Q: What are the legal requirements for providing addresses / proof that customers are from the same household?
A: See above – venues must take reasonable steps to refuse entry to those who refuse to provide contact details.
Q: Can I have a business meeting / working lunch in a pub or restaurant?