Considerations for Restaurants and Bars during Pandemic

Pubs, Bars, and Restaurants are allowed to open providing they implement infection control measures and comply with local restrictions. Nightclubs, dance floors, and sex entertainment venues should be closed.

The government has made a guide for bars, restaurants, pubs, and the visitor economy for hotels and takeaway services.

Reopening Considerations

– Make sure your establishment’s license is current and that you have paid your yearly fee. If you are considering modifying your opening hours or make important variations to your operation, you may need to request a variation. Please contact Licensing Services for advice if you have any concerns.

– Make sure your current Designated Facilities Supervisor is listed on the Facilities License and that there have been no recent changes.

– Make sure to update your current risk assessments to reflect Covid-19 infection control as well as social distancing.

– Make sure your places are safe to reopen and necessary maintenance, as well as modifications, have been performed.

– Make sure you are prepared to reopen your bars and that your Hazard Analysis is advanced.

– Make sure you have a system in place for keeping records of staff, clients, and visitors. We hardly recommend that you use the NHS Test and Trace app. Check here!

Understanding Social Distancing: Keeping Clients Safe

This section is based on the advice in the government guide to pubs, bars, restaurants, and take-out services, and must be read with that guide. The advice is that people should stay 2 meters apart. People can get up to 1-meter close as long as mitigation measures are in place.

What Are Mitigation Measures?

1. Clear Demarcation

Make sure there is a clear demarcation for people queuing, be it at the entrances, the restrooms, or the bar. Make sure there are arrows and other signs that point people in the exact direction, particularly whether there is a one-way system.

2. Sit in Different Groups Next to Each Other Instead of Facing Each Other

People seated at tables must be separated by a minimum of 1 meter. This may not be enough if people cannot safely move from table to table.

3. Clients Sitting Back to Back

When you use movable furniture, it may require to be wider to allow clients to move furniture when seated. Customers must move carefully between tables. If you use fixed furniture like booths, they will probably need additional protection or other barriers, as customers are unlikely to be within 1 meter of each other.

4. The Use of Physical Barriers

Customers from different households may be close when there is a physical barrier between them, for example – a methacrylate screen.

5. Strict Management Controls

You may need to take out tables and chairs as well as use signs. Several venues have had trouble removing tables and chairs and have therefore decided to keep tables in place, but have put in place strict written rules that prevent guests from sitting at exact tables. This management control system must be noted in a plan of written management.

6. Consider the Outdoor Areas

Don’t place seats near ashtrays, this can inspire smokers to approach other people who are sitting to extinguish their butts.

Encourage sitting instead of standing. But if you allow standing in outside areas, make sure groups stay in one place, use floor markings, and so on. When your interior seating is filled, you have to clarify to people who are outside that they won’t be allowed into the places ought to it starts to rain, you must do this before receiving your orders. Make sure that signage to this effect is displayed. You can know more at