COVID-19: Guidance for licensed premises using new outdoor spaces

England moved to Step 4 on 19 July.

All remaining closed businesses and venues can reopen.

All capacity limits at sporting, entertainment, or business events will be lifted.

Hospitality venues such as pubs, restaurants and bars are no longer required to provide table service or follow other social distancing rules.

Businesses are encouraged to continue displaying QR codes for customers wishing to check-in using the NHS COVID-19 app, or to continue collecting customer contact details to support NHS Test and Trace. However, this will no longer be a legal requirement.

All businesses should follow the principles set out in the Government’s ‘Working Safely’ guidance.

On this page

Risk assessments

What you will need to do:

  • You must undertake a risk assessment to ensure that your business operation is COVID-19 secure. The HSE has produced guidance for business operators on what to include in your COVID-19 risk assessments.
  • Ensure that you provide a copy of the COVID-19 secure risk assessment to all staff and ensure that they understand the mitigation measures you have put in place
  • Ensure that your venue continues to adhere to any newly assessed capacity limits and that physical distancing of individuals and groups is possible. The minimum safe social distancing for the venue must be 2 metres unless this is not possible. In that case 1 metre with appropriate mitigation is acceptable
  • Provide signage to customers at your venue relating to social distancing, payment, queuing, hand cleansing, toilets, capacity and that customers should not enter if they have any coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms
  • Protect staff wellbeing by ensuring that you put in place adequate safety and hygiene measures as well as ensuring workers are complying with health advice and are not unwell
  • Be prepared to work with the Council's Public Health department, Environmental Health Officers (Food and Safety Team) and the NHS in the event of a case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in a staff member or patron, or an outbreak affecting your business

Permission to use the land

Check to see if you are permitted to use the potential space for licensable activities.  If the land is not yours seek written permission from the landowner.

Promoting the Licensing Objectives

We want businesses to operate safely but also to be mindful of the impact of reopening on residents and other businesses in the area. We would like to remind you of your responsibilities as an operator to ensure that you continue to promote the Licensing Objectives (the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm) at all times your premises are open for business.

You should put measures in place to ensure that any customers drinking and/or smoking outside the premises are behaving in an orderly way and are supervised by staff and/or security. This will help prevent any public nuisance or obstruction of the public highway.

Health Act 2006

It is against the law to smoke in virtually 'enclosed' and substantially enclosed' public places and workplaces.

You need to comply with the Health Act 2006 and ensure that outdoor smoking area is not considered substantially enclosed. Further advice can be found in the guide from Smoke Free England.

About this guidance

This guidance had been compiled by the Regulatory Services Partnership serving Merton, Wandsworth and Richmond Councils and is based on government guidance and should not be taken as either the most up to date guidance or as legal advice. You should endeavour to follow the latest government guidance, which changes regularly. You may wish to take independent legal advice.