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As part of the government’s approach to be coronavirus and social distancing, it was announced on Friday that licenced premises are now no longer able to open to the public and legislation has been passed (at 2pm on Saturday 21st) to make opening any premises a criminal offence.  The government has issued guidance for affected businesses (Full Government information below).

The sectors affected are:

  • Food and drinks venues for consumption on site such as cafes and restaurants.
  • Drinking establishments including pubs, bars and nightclubs.
  • Entertainment venues including cinemas, theatres, concert halls and bongo halls.
  • Spas, wellness centres and massage parlours.
  • Casinos and betting shops.
  • Museums and galleries.
  • All indoor leisure facilities including gyms.

There are still some delivery services that can be provided for food and alcohol (where permitted on a premises licence), and the government has relaxed planning, stating in the guidance:

“Planning regulation will be changed to enable restaurants, cafes and pubs which do not currently offer delivery and hot food takeaway to do so. This will be clearly communicated by the government when in effect.”

We understand the police have already enforced this change with closure orders in some parts of the country, with a review hearing to follow (possibly sooner than the usual 28 days).   Any hearing will likely take place remotely, although just how that would happen is at the moment unclear.

Our advice is not to go against the government’s instructions and open your premises, other than to provide takeaway or delivery of food, or alcohol (where permitted).

We are in the process of compiling guidance for delivery of alcohol, and we will work with clients in regard to this.   Premises with restrictions on their license in terms of off sales are either not permitted to deliver alcohol or in some circumstances are being permitted at the discretion of local authorities.  In some areas local authorities are permitting this via minor variations, and currently the GOV website is still operating for accepting applications.

This is a constantly evolving situation and we will do our best to keep clients updated.

Stay safe and best of luck from Mincoffs.


Guidance for businesses updated 22nd March:

Legislation issued 2pm Saturday 21st March:

Guidance from Friday 20th March:



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