Operators offered guidance as reopening countdown begins

By Emily Hawkins

- Last updated on GMT

Reopening plans: operators have been urged to consult newly-updated reopening guidance ahead of beer gardens reopening next month (image: Tony Baggett, Getty Images)
Reopening plans: operators have been urged to consult newly-updated reopening guidance ahead of beer gardens reopening next month (image: Tony Baggett, Getty Images)

Related tags lockdown Coronavirus Beer Garden Legislation Health and safety

Licensees have been advised to consult reopening guidance from trade bodies ahead of the outside reopening of hospitality in one month’s time.

Beer gardens will be allowed to reopen from 12 April​, subject to confirmation from the Government a week prior and providing the country has met necessary criteria on tackling coronavirus.

The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) and UKHospitality (UKH) have urged operators to consult their resources.

While the Government has yet to confirm in legislation reopening rules, it has said table service and social distancing will continue to be required.

What’s more, the trio of trade bodies said their guidance is based on their own conversations with the Government.

Eager to get going

In a joint statement, the trade bodies said: “Whether you are reopening in April, May or later in the year, we want to make the process as easy and valuable as possible. We know that many businesses are eager to get going, but are unsure about where to start.

“Businesses will have learned many valuable lessons over the past year, but the barrage of information over the past twelve months has been understandably tricky to navigate. We have done, and will continue to do, the hard work in communicating advice so that businesses can focus on their own day-to-day operations.

“Government reopening guidance is yet to be published, and it will be made available to our members at the earliest opportunity. Until then, we are in constant dialogue with Westminster and the devolved governments and we are using our collective wealth of expertise to ensure that all hospitality businesses remained fully informed.”

All operators were encouraged to contact the trade bodies with any question about reopening, regardless of their membership status. 

Flexibility for pubs wishing to acquire pavement licences will be continued, it was confirmed this week.

Outdoor freedoms

In a letter to local authorities​, Communities secretary Robert Jenrick reminded leaders of existing freedoms permitted to businesses for outdoor hospitality in the Business and Planning Act 2020.

The legislation is currently due to expire on 30 September 2021 but will be extended for a further 12 months, subject to Parliamentary approval of secondary legislation.

Measures permitting hospitality businesses to serve takeaway food will continue to apply until March 2022, Jenrick stated.

Previous coronavirus regulations have been based on the definition of indoors, taken from the smoke-free regulations.

The Health Act 2006 states: “If there is a ceiling or roof and more than 50% of the walls are present, the premises is substantially enclosed and smoking cannot take place.

“No account can be taken of any doors, windows or other structures that can be opened or shut.”

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