Publicans had questioned a section of the 43-page document Keeping workers and customers safe during COVID-19 in restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services, released by the Government on Tuesday 23 June.
The document states: "It is against the law to gather in groups of more than 30 people, except for the limited circumstances as set out in law. In these specific cases, those operating venues should take additional steps to ensure the safety of the public and prevent large gatherings or mass events from taking place."
It also highlighted the Government’s present stance on social distancing, stating: “Indoor gatherings should only be occurring in groups of up to two households (including support bubbles) while outdoor gatherings should only be occurring in groups of up to two households (or support bubbles), or a group of at most six people from any number of households.”
However, BEIS confirmed to The MA that social distance-adhering pubs are exempt from the mentioned cap of 30 people, with visitors to pubs considered as smaller, separate gatherings with space between them rather than one large gathering.
A Government spokesperson said: “Pubs and restaurants will be allowed to have more than 30 people on the premises provided COVID-19 secure guidelines are being followed and other social distancing measures are still in place. This includes limiting those at a table to groups from a maximum of two households.”
Pubs and other hospitality venues are not subject to the 30 person limit because they have put measures in place to be Covid-secure, including one-way systems and reduced staff numbers.
The guidance also stated: “At this time, venues should not permit live performances, including drama, comedy and music, to take place in front of a live audience.”
While live sport broadcasts are not discouraged in the guidance, the document does state that social distancing must be followed and activities such as screaming and chanting should be tackled, as this could increase the spread of coronavirus.