Greater Manchester restrictions: what they mean for licensed premises - Kuits Solicitors Manchester
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Greater Manchester restrictions: what they mean for licensed premises

Greater Manchester restrictions: what they mean for licensed premises

31st July 2020 - Published by Licensing Department

As has been the case throughout the pandemic, it’s all change once again today – but this time only in certain areas.

As of today, individuals in Greater Manchester, Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Rossendale, Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees are not permitted to meet individuals with whom they do not live in a private home or garden. They continue to be able to meet in public open spaces, subject to the existing guidance.

At present, our understanding is that the sole legal change will be in relation to private homes and gardens. All other areas will be subject to guidance only.

I run a pub, bar or restaurant in Greater Manchester – can more than one household visit my venue?

As such, pubs, bars and restaurants can continue to operate, but the guidance is that that individuals should not socialise with people they do not live with in indoor public venues. As such, individuals should only be attending these sorts of premises with members of their household (including their support bubble). This is the position in relation to internal areas.

In terms of external areas at your premises, the position remains as it has been previously. This is that there are no general capacity restrictions for a beer garden external area and no legal restrictions on group numbers, but the guidance does say that group numbers can be any size if from up to two households, or up to six people from different households.

The new guidance issued today for these particular areas says that business should ‘take steps to ensure people do not interact with people they do not live with, in line with Covid-19 Secure guidance’.

How do I enforce the new guidance in my premises?

There are no specifics in terms of what those steps are, so this will be subject to each premises risk assessment. However, we would advise consideration of the following:

  • Social media posts advising customers that if they are coming to your premises they should:
    – Only attend with members of their household or support bubble if sitting inside
    – Only attend with up to two households or in a maximum group size of six if sitting outside
    – Maintain social distance from anyone not within their household whilst at the premises
  • Signage at the point of entry to premises also advising of the above
  • Advising customers of the above at the point of booking a table, whether on website or over the phone, and/or at the point of entry when walking in
  • Advising staff to be vigilant for any obvious breaches of the above requirements. However, we really do not feel that it can sensibly be the responsibility of a premises to police this with things like asking for proof of address (unless, of course, the individual premises decides that they want to do so). If customers tell staff they’re from the same household, they are entitled to believe them unless there is evidence to show them that this obviously isn’t the case. If this does occur, premises would be advised to politely refuse entry to indoor areas.

Speak to a licensing lawyer about the new local restrictions

Our leisure team has been helping businesses manage this crisis throughout the pandemic. For any assistance with the impact of the new restrictions on your business, call Rebecca Ingram on 0161 838 7888 or email rebeccaingram@kuits.com.

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