Licensing and food guidance
Under Step 2 (12 April) in the Roadmap out of Lockdown hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs can reopen to provide outdoor dining only.
If you own or operate a pub or wine bar, or a dine-in restaurant or cafe then you can operate a hot and cold food takeaway service without going through the usual planning process.
If you are intending to operate as a takeaway then you are required to notify the council that you are operating but do not need prior approval. Operators may also have to notify their landlords to operate in this way, depending upon their lease arrangements. When the takeaway use stops (on or before 23 March 2022) the land and buildings return to their former lawful use. This timeframe was extended for a further year by the Government in November 2020.
We have also issued an additional advice for business converting to takeaway use below.
We have issued additional below.
This guidance document seeks to provide information and guidance to businesses within the hospitality sector. It should not be read in isolation and businesses are encouraged to continue to take note of government’s, other agencies’ and industry associations’ advice.
This guidance consolidates a number of documents that were produced prior to the opening of the hospitality sector. It has also been updated to reflect the new Business and Planning Act 2020 which relaxed the provision of off-sales in alcohol licensed premises for the purposes of outside service and introduced a new fast-track Pavement Licensing regime.
The Food Standards Agency has guidance for food businesses looking to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sector guidance has been provided to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely in the food sector.
Further guidance has also been produced to assist Food Business Operators when a coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the workplace results in a requirement to cease operations.
Food and Health and Safety: food business reopening advice
Ventilation and air conditioning in food establishments during the Covid-19 pandemic
After having been closed for a period of time it is important to ensure that your ventilation system is in good working order.
Ventilation can be used as a control measure to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Tiny airborne particles can travel further than droplets and in poorly ventilated spaces this can lead to viral particles spreading between people. Good ventilation can reduce this risk.
Good ventilation can be different for areas depending on how many people are in there, how the space is being used, and the particular layout of the area. You will need to consider the particular ventilation requirements in the area you are considering. You may need to service or adjust ventilation systems, for example, so that they do not automatically reduce ventilation levels due to lower than normal occupancy levels.
Safety of ventilation system after period of closure
Dust and grease may have built up on fans which can overload them and cause a fire risk.
Before reopening you will need to carry out the following:
- check all filters (grease filters and input air filters) are clean, if not clean them thoroughly. Filters may also be changed if necessary. If they require to be changed it is recommended that you use the services of a professional ventilation cleaning and maintenance company
- if extract duct cleaning has not been carried out during the lockdown then this should be carried out before the ventilation system is used. It is recommended that you use the services of a professional ventilation cleaning and maintenance company.
- if the system is clean, switch on and check that the fans are working correctly.
- to minimise the chance of drawing air from the dining room which may contain viruses, where possible open windows in the kitchen to provide the remainder of the replacement air
Safety of fryers after a period of closure
Check that the fryer is clean. If the oil has been sat idle drain the oil, clean and then refill with oil. Heat the oil and carefully check this with a suitable thermometer to check that the thermostat is working correctly.
Safety of Water Systems: Legionella
Similar to your ventilation system, if your building was closed or has reduced occupancy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, water system stagnation can occur due to lack of use, increasing the risks of Legionnaires' disease.
You should review your risk assessment and manage the legionella risks when you:
- reinstate a water system or start using it again
- restart some types of air conditioning units
Food and Beverage sector specific information and support
Please take a minute or two to complete this very short survey to help inform us of the support we should be making available to you as a Westminster ‘Food & Beverage’ business.