However, there are some emerging trends and the below is a summary of some points to consider. Poppleston Allen has produced a full pre-opening checklist for The Morning Advertiser readers, which can be downloaded at https://bit.ly/3eDJvV3
- Are your licensing ‘basics’ ready for reopening? For example, is your designated premises supervisor (DPS) name correct and do you have appropriate notices on display?
- Are your licence conditions appropriate now and in light of any Covid-19 regulations? Think particularly of exploiting any outside space, external dispense bars, off-sales, last entry, door staff and relaxation of delivery and collections to reduce interaction between customers/staff and visitors
- Do you need to keep site doors and windows open (except fire doors) to assist with ventilation?
- Check any planning restrictions that might relate to the use of areas, trading hours or operational conditions
- Have any pavement licence, A-boards, marriage licences or special treatment licences been renewed and ensured any fees are paid if necessary?
- Is any outside area part of a controlled drinking area or similar order imposed by the council? Check you are up to date with your licensing authority
- Speak to the licensing authority about any street trading licence needed for an outside food offer that is not on your land
- Have any building works been carried out during lockdown? Licensing consent may be required
- Consider whether any works prior to opening and to comply with social distancing, such as the installation of barriers and screens, requires consent
- Check your fire risk assessment is up to date and review capacity levels in light of any Covid-19 regulations
- Consider all your risk assessments and operating policies in light of any Covid-19 regulations, for example, admission and dispersal, searching, toilet checks, vulnerable persons, cleaning protocols, etc.
- Update your website with any new guidance to avoid queuing or overcrowding or confusion about the use of certain areas
- Review and refresh staff training on operational changes
- Check for any local and national advice and support
- Undertake a pre-opening licence health check and risk-assessment, including social distancing guidelines, hygiene information and other aspects in line with any Covid-19 guidance
- Speak with your local police and licensing authority offices for any local legislative updates or initiatives.
For any legal enquiries please visit Poppleston Allen's website.
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