What do pubs need to know before reopening?

By Stuart Stone

- Last updated on GMT

Need to know: what key updates, news and pieces of guidance should pub operators be aware of before reopening?
Need to know: what key updates, news and pieces of guidance should pub operators be aware of before reopening?

Related tags Coronavirus

There’s been a seemingly endless stream of information thrown at pubs, bars and restaurants ahead of the resumption of trade on 4 July. Here’s a checklist of some of the key reopening news and guidance.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed pubs can reopen from 4 July​ with one-metre distancing measures in place. 

While not all pubs will be opening at the earliest available opportunity, now is as good a time as any for operators make some last-minute checks before flinging open their doors to Britain’s parched public. 


According to Sacha Lord, Greater Manchester’s night-time economy adviser, essential checking points for pubs should include how you will be keeping staff safe, both front and back of house, giving consideration to all areas customers have access to - including disability requirements - how deliveries are taken, door staff protection and how maintenance work will be performed.

What’s more, Lord adds that accident and incident procedures including how operators will handle drunkenness and violence while maintaining safety for all involved should be considered.

Read Lord’s “final countdown” column with more essential information to cross off your pre-opening to do list here​.

On top of this, Poppleston Allen​ has produced a full pre-opening checklist for The Morning Advertiser​​’s (MA)​ readersto help operators stay legitimate post-lockdown –  which can be downloaded at https://bit.ly/3eDJvV3​​ 

Government guidance for ‘Covid-secure’ pubs 


For anyone needing a refresher on the Government’s Covid-secure guidance for pubs, bars and restaurants before reopening, we’ve got the sector stance on risk assessments, staffing, hygiene and more covered below:

  • What is the Government's guidance for post-lockdown pubs?​ - Risk assessments, customer and employee safety, and how to manage toilets are three of the points made in the Government’s guidelines on how pubs can reopen on 4 July.
  • How to manage risk when reopening your pub​ - Government guidance for pubs reopening from 4 July clearly states that businesses must carry out detailed risk assessments before putting coronavirus prevention control measures in place and opening to staff and the public.
  • How should operators manage staff in post-lockdown pubs?​ - What does the Government's guidance for the post-lockdown hospitality sector say about which staff should return to pubs and bars from 4 July and how operators should manage their socially distanced shifts?
  • What do post-lockdown pubs need to know about cleaning and PPE?​ - What does the Government's guidance for the post-lockdown hospitality sector tell pub and bar operators about personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning routines?
  • Guidance on Scottish pubs reopening on 15 July revealed​ - The Scottish Government has published guidance for tourism and hospitality businesses ahead of an indicative start date of 15 July.

Need to know


No cap on numbers for pubs​ - Pubs do not have to cap their numbers to 30 people​, The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial strategy (BEIS) has confirmed to The Morning Advertiser (MA)​.

Red tape slashed to simplify outdoor service for pubs​ - The Government has introduced simpler licensing processes for outdoor seating for pubs in a bid to make it easier for people to safely eat and drink outside and in turn, help operators bounce back from the coronavirus lockdown amid reopening.

Can customers getting takeaways from pubs use the toilets?​ - Pub toilets can be open for customers who are collecting takeaways provided the layout of the pub is suitable and subject to a risk assessment.

Post-lockdown sport pubs to tackle noise during live screenings​ - Socially distanced pubs have been advised to tackle fan volume during post-lockdown sport screenings in a bid to kick aerosol transmission of Covid-19 into touch.


Forecasting the right time to reopen a pub​ - Three-way forecasting can help businesses weigh up the risks and rewards involved in reopening, providing a valuable decision-making tool. By integrating a company’s forecast profit and loss, balance sheet, and cash-flow, this technique allows businesses to understand the full impact that certain decisions may have on their business, rather than purely focusing on the cash-flow aspect.

How to reduce your food menu for reopening​ - As the time for reopening gets closer, you may want to set out your new food menu and that probably means making the offer smaller but stronger.

How could post-lockdown distancing rules change the layout of pubs?​ - MA​ spoke to Jones Architecture & Design’s creative director Abi Perry-Jones to run the rule over post-lockdown pub blueprints before trading resumes under social distancing.

Pubs, customer data and tech


Government guidance states that pubs should endeavour to support the NHS’ Test and Trace system in a bid to help prevent the spread of coronavirus as hospitality reopens. Here’s a quick look at what operators need to bear in mind when handling customer data.

  • Pubs asked to get name and number from customers to help Test and Trace​ - Pubs should record names and phone numbers of all staff and customers in a bid to help prevent the spread of coronavirus as hospitality reopens this weekend.
  • Data protection warning for pubs taking customer details​ - Pubs need to be careful when taking customer details upon reopening under Government guidance to ensure they don’t fall foul of data protection laws, experts have urged.

Related topics Rebuilding the Pub Sector

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