The government has announced that on 4 July 2020, it will commence the third stage of its plan to ease the ‘lockdown’ restrictions implemented in England due to COVID-19. Following the re-opening of ‘non-essential retail shops’ in stage two, this third stage will involve the re-opening of restaurants, pubs and bars as well as hairdressers, cinemas, museums and outdoor gyms.
Every restaurant, bar and pub must carry out a risk assessment addressing the risks of COVID-19 and proposing sensible measures to control those risks. Whilst the steps that need to be taken will vary depending on the size, location and nature of the business, the government has issued guidance on how to safely re-open bars, pubs and restaurants. We have set out below some of the key issues that venues should consider when planning for their re-opening. The guidance is specific to England, but the principles may also be of use to establishments offering food and beverages in other jurisdictions.