Covid-19 – Premises closure regulations

Information provided by Licensing Defence Barristers (www.licensingdefencebarristers.co.uk)

The Government has now published the necessary regulations to enforce the closure of licensed premises as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closure) (England) Regulations 2020 makes it a criminal offence for a “person responsible for carrying on a business” (owner, proprietor, and manager of that business) not to comply with the Regulations.

The Regulations places a duty on the responsible person, during the relevant period, to
• close any premises, or part of the premises, in which food or drink are sold for consumption on those premises, and
• cease selling food or drink for consumption on its premises; or
• if the business sells food or drink for consumption off the premises, cease selling food or drink for consumption on its premises during the relevant period.

A complete list of licensed premises that must comply with the Regulations are listed in the schedule to the Regulations (which can be seen here) and includes:

• Bars
• Pubs
• Restaurants
• Nightclubs
• Theatres, and
• Cinemas

Food or drink sold by a hotel or other accommodation as part of room service is not to be treated as being sold for consumption on its premises.