COVID-19: Business Information - Licensing and Enforcement
We have been working hard to support our businesses during these difficult times by ensuring that we share the latest guidance and information.
Below is further advice and guidance for the hospitality sector as we moved to Step 3 of the roadmap out of lockdown on 17 May.
- Step 3 - 17 May
- Births, deaths and marriages
- Providing ventilation
- Restaurants, cafes and pubs
- Indoor entertainment and visitor attractions
- Hairdressers and other close contact services
- Business events
- GOV.UK guidance for businesses preparing to reopen
- NHS Track and Trace app
- Reopening your business and Legionella risk
- Rule of 6
- NHS QR code/posters
- Face coverings
- Crowd safety considerations for business
- COVID-19 business email support
- COVID-19 marshals in Haringey
- Temporary changes to alcohol licensing provisions
- Further guidance
Families and small groups
- Six people or two households can mix indoors.
- Overnight stays allowed with people not in your household or bubble.
- You can choose whether to maintain social distancing with close family and friends. You are urged to remain cautious about the risks that come with close personal contact as this remains a direct way of transmitting the disease.
- Holidays abroad to green list countries are allowed.
- Indoor hospitality such as restaurants, pubs, hotels, hostels and B&Bs will reopen.
- Indoor entertainment such as museums, cinemas and theatres will reopen.
- Indoor adult group sports and exercise classes can take place.
Large outdoor events
- 30 people can mix outdoors.
- Up to 10,000 spectators will be able to attend events at large outdoor, seated venues like football stadiums.
- Some larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues will be allowed with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full (whichever is a lower number), and in outdoor venues with a capacity of 4,000 people or half-full (whichever is a lower number).
- In the largest outdoor seated venues, where crowds can be spread out, up to 10,000 people will be able to attend (or a quarter-full, whichever is lower).
Up to 30 people can attend weddings, receptions and wakes as long as the venue can comply with social distancing.
This limit also applies to other types of significant life events, including bar mitzvahs and christenings.
Families and friends will shortly be able to pay their respects to loved ones in greater numbers, with numerical limits on funerals to be removed.
After careful consideration, the legal limit of 30 mourners will be removed as part of Step 3 of the roadmap, to take place from 17 May at the earliest. As the Prime Minister has said, the current data does not suggest any need to alter the dates at which restrictions will next be eased.
Instead, the number of people who can attend a funeral will be determined by how many people the venue, such as the relevant place of worship or funeral home, can safely accommodate with social distancing. This includes both indoor and outdoor venues. Capacities of venues will vary, but many will allow significantly more than 30 people to attend.
Ventilation should be used as a control measure to reduce the risk of aerosol transmission of COVID-19 in enclosed spaces.
Ventilation will not reduce the risk of droplet or surface transmission. This means you will also be required to put in place other control measures. These include cleaning and social distancing.
There are different ways of providing ventilation, including:
- mechanical ventilation using fans and ducts
- natural ventilation which relies on passive flow-through openings, such as doors, windows and vents
You can provide ventilation through a combination of the two.
The risk of transmission is greater in spaces that are poorly ventilated. HSE guidance on ventilation and air conditioning explains how you can identify those spaces. It also explains steps you can take to improve ventilation.
Read advice on air conditioning and ventilation from HSE (external link).
Indoor areas of hospitality venues (cafes, restaurants, bars, pubs, social clubs, including members’ clubs) can reopen.
As with outdoors, table service will be required. Customers will be required to wear face coverings whilst indoors, unless seated to eat or drink. Venues are prohibited from providing shared smoking equipment such as shisha pipes.
- Tables must be limited to groups of 6 people or 2 households/bubbles indoors, and groups of 30 people outdoors (unless an exemption applies).
- Tables should be arranged to allow social distancing (2m, or 1m+ with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable) to be maintained between groups of customers.
- Businesses that sell alcohol for consumption on the premises must only do so via table service. This means all food and drink (whether or not alcoholic) from any business that sells alcohol for consumption on site must be ordered from, served to, and consumed, only by seated customers inside the premises.
- A business that does not sell alcohol, but sells food and drink for consumption on or near the premises, does not need to provide table service. However, it must take all reasonable steps to ensure that customers remain seated while consuming food or drink on the premises.
- Hospitality venues may continue to provide takeaway food and drink, including takeaway alcohol.
- You should check the guidance for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services, and ensure you adhere to any relevant measures.
- Indoors – up to 6 people or a larger group from 2 households only.
- Outdoors – 30 people to a group
Businesses that can reopen will include:
- cinemas, theatres and concert halls
- museums and galleries
- adventure playgrounds and activities
- amusement arcades and adult gaming centres
- bingo halls and casinos
- play areas (including soft play centres and inflatable parks)
- indoor visitor areas at outdoor attractions can now open
- indoor trampolining parks
- indoor bowling
Unless a specific exemption exists, attractions must only be attended in line with the wider social contact limits at this stage - in a group of 6 people or 2 households indoors.
Guidance for people who provide close contact services, including hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, tattooists, sports and massage therapists, dress fitters, tailors and fashion designers.
- saunas and steam rooms can reopen
- you can provide reading materials such as newspapers and magazines in client waiting areas
- you can provide refreshments in line with guidance for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services
Sports facilities can open to the public. This includes indoor and outdoor sports facilities, such as pitches, courts, golf and mini-golf courses, gyms and leisure centres. You should check the guidance for sport facilities and ensure you adhere to any relevant measures.
Saunas and steam rooms can resume but please follow the guidance.
- Consider implementing additional capacity limits for smaller enclosed spaces. Within the maximum capacity for your venue (see the section on ventilation for more information), some areas such as studios and weights rooms may need additional limits to ensure that there is adequate ventilation and space for social distancing.
- Gym equipment and machinery should be appropriately spaced so that people can comply with social distancing guidelines, and with a suitable margin for adequate circulation or one-way routes.
- Consider moving equipment, using screens to separate equipment, or taking equipment out of use if it cannot be used safely. It may be helpful to use tape around pieces of gym equipment to demonstrate appropriate social distance.
- In exercise studios, temporary floor marking should be used to define required spacing per individual.
Business events such as conferences, trade shows, exhibitions and private dining events such as charity or gala dinners and awards ceremonies, and corporate hospitality are permitted to resume.
Capacity restrictions must be adhered to at any point throughout the event. For example:
- A theatre can admit over 1,000 people in a single day, but no more than 1,000 people at one time.
- If an event runs over the course of multiple days, no more than 1,000 people should be admitted at any one time over that period.
- If a single venue hosts multiple different events at one time, and the attendees of each event are separated for the duration of the event (for example, a cinema with multiple screens, or an exhibition centre hosting multiple business events), the 50% capacity cap will apply to each individual event, rather than the venue.
Capacity caps refer to the event attendees only. Staff, workers and volunteers are covered by the work exemption so should not be counted as part of the capacity cap.
- Reopening businesses and venues (external link)
- Working safely during coronavirus (external link)
- Organised events guidance for local authorities (external link)
UK Hospitality (external page) also offers further guidance on step 3 of the roadmap.
- Display the official NHS QR code poster. Official NHS QR posters can be generated online.
- Ask every customer or visitor aged 16 and over to check in to your venue or provide their contact details. This can be done quickly and easily using the NHS COVID-19 app to scan in the NHS QR code poster.
- Have a system in place to ensure that you can collect information from your customers and visitors who do not have a smartphone or do not want to use the NHS COVID-19 app. You must keep this data for 21 days and provide it to NHS Test and Trace if they ask for it. Check what data you need to collect and how it should be managed.
- Keep a record of all your customers, visitors and staff for 21 days. You must do this by law. Check ‘Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace’ for details.
- Keep clients apart - Consider how many people can be in the space while remaining socially distant. Rearrange waiting areas so that clients can stay apart. Use floor markings to manage queues.
The Government is currently reviewing and updating the advice on social distancing and any further updates will be given if required.
- All businesses have a legal responsibility to protect their employees and other people on-site at their premises (when permitted to open)
- Risk assessment for coronavirus - practical points to consider
- Employers and self-employed people need to carry out a risk assessment to identify what needs to be done to protect workers and others from the risk of coronavirus
When carrying out the risk assessment you need to:
- identify what work activity or situations might cause transmission of the virus
- identify who could be at risk
- decide how likely it is that someone could be exposed
- act to remove the activity or situation that places someone at risk, or if this is not possible, identify what can be done to control the risk
- If you have fewer than 5 employees, you do not have to write anything down, but it is good practice if you do. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has guidance on H&S ABC easy risk assessment (external link) as well as Health and Safety made simple. Both include advice on risk assessments
- There is also further HSE guidance: Working safely during the coronavirus outbreak(external link)
We would advise businesses to regularly review the measures they have in place to ensure they can continue to operate safely and in line with government guidance.
In addition, to undertaking your risk assessment - and checking that your insurance policies, fire and gas safety are in order, the hospitality sector should consider the following checks and considerations before reopening:
- If you intend to open for outdoor service on or after 12 April, you must assess how many customers you can safely accommodate, seated, allowing for adequate social distancing, queue management, ordering and payment
- Make sure you have enough trained staff to manage your customers safely and in accordance with the regulations and guidance. Make sure your customers understand your rules and maximum capacity
- Where possible, let customers know about your rules and seating capacity before you open. Using Social Media is a good way to get the message out and manage customer expectations
- Make sure you have systems in place to take orders and payments at the table
- If you provide food, ensure your kitchen staff review your food supplies for durability dates, condition and labelling
- Check for any pest activity
- Make sure your staff have the necessary food, safety and Covid awareness training. Refreshers courses are recommended for all
- Carry out a deep clean of your kitchen ready for trading
- Review your menu and allergens controls. It’s recommended to keep your menu simple
- Consider introducing COVID testing for your staff. More information: get workplace coronavirus tests on GOV.UK (external link)
When buildings reopen after lockdown, it is essential that water systems are not put back into use without considering the risks of Legionnaires’ disease. There is an increased risk of waterborne pathogens such as Legionella bacteria being present because of the reduced occupancy and use buildings have had during lockdown.
Legionella guidance (external link) has been specially written by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) for businesses so that they know about the risk and what to do about it before reopening their business.
You must take all reasonable measures to ensure that:
No bookings for a table of more than 6 people are accepted unless all the people in the gathering are from the same household, or are members of 2 households that are linked households in relation to each other. In these circumstances, it will be up to the customer to satisfy you that this exemption applies.
Where groups of more than 6 are allowed then you should keep and retain a record of this.
You must also take all reasonable steps to ensure that:
- No person from one group 'mingles' with any other persons from another group - in practical terms, we take this to mean that a table should only socialise with members of their own group whilst on your premise
- An 'appropriate distance' is maintained between tables occupied by different qualifying groups
- An appropriate distance means a distance between tables of at least 2 metres or at least 1 metre if there are barriers of screens between tables
- The tables are arranged with back to back seating or arranged so that people sitting at one table do not face people sitting at another table
- Other measures are taken to limit the risk of transmission of the coronavirus between people sitting at different tables. In practical terms this could be an instruction to customers when they arrive, public signage around the premises or guidance left on tables and/or on menus/drinks list
- Breach of the regulations may result in prosecution or a fine (£1,000 for the first fine rising to £2,000 on a second and £4,000 for a third offence)
You will need to take the following steps:
- Ensure that those members of your staff who take bookings are familiar, and comply, with the above regulations (a record of the instruction given to staff members should be retained)
- That any online booking system is modified to avoid the possibility of tables of more than 6 being booked (or that instruction is provided on the online booking form that groups of more than 6 will need to provide evidence that they are from one household or linked households)
- Ensure that tables are appropriately distanced from one another
- Have signage instructions to customers advising that they should only socialise with members of their own group and should avoid social contact with other groups
Before reopening your venue, you must make sure that you understand your obligations to:
- Display an official NHS QR code poster
- Request that all customers and visitors scan the NHS QR code or provide their contact details
- Keep a record of all staff including shift times
- Provide an alternative method to collect contact details which doesn’t require ownership of a smartphone
- Keep information securely for 21 days before destroying it, and provide it to NHS Test & Trace if requested
- Hospitality venues only: Take reasonable steps to refuse entry to those who refuse to participate. This means you must to the best of your ability comply with the requirement to refuse entry and you should satisfy yourself that you have done all that could reasonably be expected
Government's latest guidance on the collection of personal details and how to maintain records of staff, customers and visitors to businesses in support of NHS Test and Trace, please see: Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace (external link).
Which business sectors are affected?
There is a higher risk of transmitting COVID-19 in premises where customers and visitors spend a long time in one place and potentially come into close contact with other people outside of their household.
To manage this risk, establishments in the following sectors, whether indoor or outdoor venues or mobile settings, must request contact details from staff, customers and visitors, and display the official NHS QR code poster:
- Hospitality, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés
- Tourism and leisure, including hotels, museums, cinemas and amusement arcades
- Close contact services, including hairdressers, barbers and tailors
- Community centres, libraries and village halls
This requirement applies to any establishment that provides an on-site service and to any events that take place on its premises. It does not apply where services are taken off-site immediately, for example, a food or drink outlet which only provides takeaways.
If a business offers a mixture of a sit-in and takeaway service, contact information only needs to be sought for customers who are dining in.
Face coverings are mandatory in many different types of business and enclosed public spaces.
The legal requirements include:
- Customers without a valid exemption must wear a face covering when entering premises including shops, cafés, restaurants and public houses
- Staff in retail settings without an exemption must wear a face covering when in areas that are open to the public and where they are likely to come within close contact of a member of the public, unless they are behind an adequate physical barrier or screen
- Staff in close contact services - eg hair salons, barbers, nail bars must wear a visor/goggles and a type II face mask when providing a service
- Businesses must display a notice informing customers that they must wear a face covering on entry or advise customers when entering.
- See GOV.UK for guidance on face coverings, where to wear them and who does the law does not apply to (external link)
What if someone refuses to wear a face covering?
Customers may have a valid exemption, and we advise businesses to use their own discretion with anyone who has such an exemption. Businesses have a right to protect themselves by not allowing entry to persons who they do not feel are complying with the requirements.
The police have formal enforcement powers and can issue a fine to an individual without an exemption, who is refusing to wear a face covering.
Anyone who fails to comply with the rule could face a £200 fine for a first offence.
How will compliance be monitored?
The government have now introduced a number of sanctions for non-compliance or in response to a serious or imminent threat to public health, and this includes directions to close premises.
Officers from regulatory services will monitor compliance with these regulations, and police support will be provided if appropriate.
We recognise the financial impact this is having on our businesses, however, we would urge businesses to comply with government measures to help keep our residents safe and avoid facing legal action.
- Report a business in breach of the regulations: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Q&A for Hospitality Businesses (PDF, 1MB)
Businesses that charge unfair prices
Shops that charge excessive prices to exploit the current situation should be warned they risk being investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority for breaching competition law.
All prices must be clear and not misleading. We understand that some prices may have increased slightly due to difficulties in the supply chain because of recent events. We urge our retailers to behave responsibly throughout the coronavirus outbreak.
You can report excessive prices to email@example.com
As the retail sector begins to re-open, social distancing guidelines will mean that stores will have to adapt how they operate; this will likely lead to external queues and crowds where previously there were none. The threat to the UK from terrorism remains real and these unprecedented times could be exploited by terrorist groups or individuals, especially as people are likely to be queuing in public realm space with little or no physical security in place; as such, these queues and crowds are especially vulnerable to attacks such as Vehicle as a Weapon (VAW) and Marauding Terrorist Attack (MTA).
Consider Counter-VAW measures: If there are linear approaches to queues, consider the positioning of vehicles, planters, barriers etc. to protect the queue line but allow for evacuation and rapid escape routes for queuing people.
- Enforce 2m spacing
- If possible chicane the queues
- Run queues adjacent to walls where possible
- Orientate queue so any vehicle attack would be perpendicular
- Utilise clutter and obstacles to shield queue
MTA - Reinforce Run Hide Tell message:
Be mindful given the current situation that the best advice is to disperse where possible rather than hide (PDF, external link)
Complete ACT e-learning (external link): an interactive online product designed to provide nationally accredited counter-terrorism awareness to all (45 minutes)
If you have a specific COVID-19 related query and can’t find the information you need on our website, we have set up a dedicated business email support at firstname.lastname@example.org
This is purely for matters directly related to COVID-19. For standard service queries, you can find direct contact information on the relevant service webpages.
- Report a COVID concern - help protect you and others, avoid further restrictions, and keep businesses open
- Coronavirus Restrictions Fixed Penalty Notices - including background, how to pay and appeals/representations
Haringey Council has introduced COVID-19 marshals to encourage best practice and support the public to follow COVID-19 safety guidance. COVID-19 marshals will patrol the main town centres and busy areas to engage, explain and encourage businesses and members of the public to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines to help keep everyone safe.
- Promote social distancing and encourage public compliance with COVID-19 public health measures
- Remind members of the public to wear a face covering where required (unless exempt) and provide advice on how to wear them
- Educate and explain COVID-19 secure guidelines in the public realm and business premises in Haringey
- Provide advice aligned to Government guidance and signposting businesses to this guidance
- Direct pedestrians and support businesses with advice to manage queues and one-way systems
- Identify and support businesses and premises not following guidelines, escalating as appropriate
- Offer guidance on appropriate signage and markings
- Provide a highly visible street presence for the community
- The completion of checklists for business engagement and data collection.
We ask for pictures of engagement with various businesses so that we can promote good practise on Social Media for the community, but there is no obligation on the part of the business to allow this.
The role of COVID-19 support marshals is not to enforce COVID-19 regulations or have any enforcement powers, this is the remit of the police and local authority enforcement officers.
Do COVID-19 marshals have enforcement powers?
The marshals will engage, explain and encourage compliance with COVID-19 guidelines. They do not have any formal enforcement powers. The council’s Environmental Health Officers and the Metropolitan Police have powers to take enforcement action against a business or individual if appropriate. Where necessary the COVID-19 marshals may report information to the Environmental Health Service or Police to consider enforcement action.
Steps to reporting a COVID compliance concern
- Act in a COVID secure way (external link) and always keep yourself safe
- Report your concerns with the business manager directly
- Report a COVID Compliance Concern to the dedicated inbox: email@example.com
In the event where concerns involve large unlawful gatherings within private or public spaces, lack of mask-wearing or concerns that require enforcement of the law, please contact the police (external link).
New measures under the Business and Planning Act 2020 introduce a new off sales ability for existing and new alcohol licensed premises. The provisions in the Act temporarily modify the Licensing Act 2003 to provide an automatic extension to the terms of most premises licences which only permit the sale of alcohol for consumption on the premises to allow the sale of alcohol for consumption off the premises.
This will make it easier for licensed premises to sell alcohol to customers for consumption off the premises, which will allow businesses to trade and maintain social distancing.
The new off-sales permission will permit off-sales to be made at a time when the licensed premises are open for the purposes of selling alcohol for consumption on the premises, subject to a cut off time of 11pm or the closure time of an existing outside area, whichever is earlier. Measures also temporarily suspend existing licence conditions in so far as they are inconsistent with the new off-sales permission.
- Government guidance for licensed premises (external link)
- Full government COVID-19 guidance, rules and restrictions (external link)
- Close contact services, including hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, tattooists, sports and massage therapists, dress fitters, tailors and fashion designers (external link)
- Construction and other outdoor work (external link)
- Factories, plants and warehouses (external link)
- Heritage locations (external link)
- Hotels and other guest accommodation (external link)
- Labs and research facilities (external link)
- Offices and contact centres (external link)
- Other people's homes (external link)
- Performing arts (external link)
- Providers of grassroots sport and gym/leisure facilities (external link)
- Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services (external link)
- Shops and branches (external link)
- Vehicles (external link)
- Visitor economy (external link)
- Taxis and PHVs (external link).
- Visit GOV.UK for social distancing guidance (external link)
If employers do not introduce social distancing or allow vulnerable workers (external link) to self-isolate for the period specified, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) may take a range of actions to improve the control of workplace risks.
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