Coronavirus – Licensing Pre-opening Checklist

21/5/20: Checklist courtesy of Poppleston Allen

• Check the current DPS is still working at the premises and how many personal licence holders you have working on site.

• Has there been a change to the premises licence holder or their registered address?

• Is the Premises Licence Summary and Section 57 Notice on display? Is the full licence available for inspection?

• Is your licence fit for purpose – might you need extended hours – consider time limited licence applications.

• Review conditions – ensure compliant and consider whether any need amending – e.g. use of outside space, licensing of external dispense bars, off sales, last entry, door staff, relaxation of delivery and collections to reduce interaction between customers/staff and visitors; opening new access points to regulate entry/flow of visitors and customers; ability to keep windows and doors open (except fire doors) to assist ventilation – check if the Local Authority will accept minors, possibly time limited. Or check the local approach to enforcement. Check also for any planning restrictions.

• Has the Premises Licence annual fee (and late-night levy) been paid. Check for suspension notices and remove if applicable.

• Has the gaming permit annual fee been paid? If it hasn’t then the permit will have lapsed and need to apply for a new one.

• Notifications (automatic entitlements to 2 gaming machines) – if the premises licence has been transferred then you need to apply for a new notification.

• If you are a landlord and your tenant has left then carry out the necessary checks to ensure that the premises licence has not been surrendered or has lapsed.

• Pavement Licence, A Boards, Marriage Licence and Special Treatment Licence – have they been renewed and, if they have been renewed, were fees paid or have they been deferred? Is there an opportunity to amend the licence?

• Have building works been undertaken during the closure? If so, is licensing consent required?

• Consider what works you wish to undertake before opening and consider whether they need permission – such as installation of barriers and screens.

• Is the bar authorisation form in place and all training records up to date?

• Check fire risk assessment is up to date and review capacity levels within the assessment and/or premises licence conditions in light of COVID-19 regulations.

• Consider liaising with neighbours and resident associations before the premises reopen; it is likely that the ambient noise levels will increase and residents may become sensitive to noise issues.

• Pubwatch/BIDs and other local initiatives – check for local advice and support.

• Look at policies in light of COVID 19 – such as admission and dispersal, drugs, toilet checks and cleaning protocols, security, avoiding overcrowding of areas used regularly like corridors and toilets and other confined spaces, controlling queues and ensuring 2 metre markers are in place. Encourage customers to email, use website or apps when ordering or calling ahead to reserve seating.

• Consider use of external spaces which may be owned by your landlord or Local Authority and speak to them.

• Pre-opening licence health check and risk assessment to comply with COVID-19 regulations (when released) and signage requirements – including social distancing guidelines; hygiene information; entry and exit routes; pick up and drop off point instructions; customer instructions upon service and payment process.

• Consider any plans for the local area. There could be a gradual reopening and therefore certain conditions could be problematic initially, for example door staff.

• Contact the local Police and Local Authority Licensing Officers to find out their views on premises reopening, and any particular challenges or local initiatives they wish to consider.