SLDC highlights importance of Covid safety in licensed premises

4 September 2020

South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) has backed a move highlighting the critical importance of the licensed trade engaging customers in Covid-19 secure practices.

As part of the effort to stop the spread of coronavirus, pubs and restaurants should be collecting contact details from customers to help local contact tracing work should it be needed. The public are being asked to stop and double check the details they provide, and wherever possible provide a mobile phone number rather than a landline.

All employers are also required to carry out a Covid-19 risk assessment and take steps to protect workers (such as using back-to-back or side-to-side working wherever possible or reducing the number of people each employee has contact with) and customers (such as calculating the maximum number of customers that can reasonably follow social distancing guidelines, reconfiguring indoor and outdoor seating to maintain social distancing guidelines, reducing the need for customers to queue, providing clear guidance on social distancing and ensuring customers are compliant with limits on household gatherings).

In an open letter to the trade, the BBPA (British Beer & Pub Association), UK Hospitality and BII (British Institute of Innkeeping) said: “Test and Trace is a key part of maintaining customer confidence and cementing pubs as being responsible traders as mitigation of the pandemic continues.

“Proactively engaging all of your customers in our venues’ new ways of working has now clearly become a business critical issue.  Without high levels of customer confidence supporting trade now and critically building momentum moving forward, we will not see the ongoing revenues that will be needed to sustain many of our venues.”

SLDC Environmental Health Officers continue to work closely with local licensed and hospitality businesses to ensure premises are safe for both members of the public to use and for the employees who work there.

Councillor Robin Ashcroft, Portfolio Holder for Economy, Culture and Leisure, said: "It is great to see licensed premises open again, following national guidelines and regulations to minimise the risk of Covid-19 to staff and patrons.

"Everybody has a part to play in reducing the threat of coronavirus while enabling the continued safe opening of businesses, so I would encourage all licensed premises to take every action possible and ensure customers are fully engaged – and that residents supporting these businesses follow safety measures and provide good quality details in case local contact tracing is needed."

Advice to people going to a pub or restaurant with people they don’t live with

When eating or drinking out with people you do not live with (and who are not in your support bubble), you should keep to the wider guidance on group sizes: up to two households indoors, and up to either two households or six people from more than two households outdoors.

In all cases, people from different households should ensure they socially distance as much as possible. You should think about where to sit at a table with this in mind – the premises should also take reasonable steps to help you do so in line with COVID-19 secure guidelines. It remains the case that you do not need to maintain social distancing with those in your support bubble. This change also does not affect the support you receive from your carers.


People are also reminded that current Government guidance states that people should not:

  • socialise indoors in groups of more than two households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household) - this includes when dining out or going to the pub
  • socialise outdoors in a group of more than six people from different households; gatherings larger than six should only take place if everyone is exclusively from two households or support bubbles
  • interact socially with anyone outside the group you are attending a place with, even if you see other people you know, for example, in a restaurant, community centre or place of worship
  • hold or attend celebrations (such as parties) where it is difficult to maintain social distancing and avoid close social interaction - even if they are organised by businesses and venues that are taking steps to follow COVID-19 Secure guidelines
  • stay overnight away from your home with members of more than one other household (your support bubble counts as one household)

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and cant do

The key public health messages remain:

  • Wash or sanitise hands regularly
  • Observe social distancing rules
  • Wear face masks or coverings in enclosed public space, including taxis
  • If you have symptoms, self-isolate and get tested
  • Follow advice to self-isolate if asked 

Institute of licensing: open letter to the pub sector to support safe trading practices