Guidance issued for Doncaster hospitality venues

In just over a week, pub gardens will be able to open, giving many Doncaster folk their first sips of draught beer since December last year.

Government guidance says outdoor areas of hospitality venues such as pubs can open again from April 12 at the earliest, including for takeaway alcohol. 

The Covid -19 response – Spring 2021 roadmap was published on 22 February 2021 and a full version can be found here: COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021 (Summary) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

However, the question for many is, what rules will be in place when this happens? Here is some frequently asked questions and the rules below:

Can you just meet people for a drink and are you allowed inside to order?

The new Government guidelines state that hospitality venues can serve people outdoors only, and this time people can just meet for a drink.

The rules state: there will be no need for customers to order a substantial meal with alcohol, and no curfew - although customers must order, eat and drink while seated.

This means venues must offer table service only.

Will social distancing rules still be in place?

Businesses reopening “must abide by the social contact rules”, meaning social distancing will still be in place.

The Government will continue to enforce restrictions and require businesses to demonstrate robust strategies for managing the risk of transmission and to ensure social distancing rules are followed.

Doncaster Council and the police will continue to provide support and advice to newly reopened settings, enabling them to operate safely. Where businesses do not follow the rules, the appropriate enforcement action will be taken.

How many people can you meet?

From April 12 at the earliest, the Rule of Six will return. This means up to six people or two households, can meet outdoors.

Where can you meet?

‘Outdoors’ refers to private gardens and any other outdoor space. This includes beer gardens, cafes or restaurants with outdoor seating spaces, and hospitality areas in venues like zoos and theme parks, which are also due to reopen at this time.

When can we eat and drink inside again?

Pubs, bars and restaurants are expected to reopen fully from no earlier than May 17. However, these dates are subject to change depending on the data meeting England's "four tests".

The four tests for easing measures include the success of the vaccine roll out, evidence of vaccine efficacy, new variants and infection rates, which will be assessed by ministers before proceeding to the next step.

“Al Fresco”/Pavement Licences

Should you wish to use the public highway as part of your outdoor provision, you will be required to hold a specific licence to do so. Please see the licensing web pages for further advice and application forms for Temporary Event Notices or Alfresco (pavement dining) licences: https://www.doncaster.gov.uk/services/business-investment/licensing

Licences are issued by the Licencing Team and further information, including how to apply can be obtained by visiting the following links:

Full Pavement Licence: https://www.doncaster.gov.uk/services/business-investment/pavement-licence-full-for-alfresco-purposes-in-doncaster

Temporary Pavement Licence: https://www.doncaster.gov.uk/services/business-investment/temporary-pavement-licence-business-planning-act-2020

We would recommend that anyone wishing to apply for a Pavement Licence view the application process and submit appropriately, with a suitable plan and measurements included.

Please be aware that under the current pavement licence schemes, the public highway areas that are granted a licence will only be allowed to operate until 1am.

The Council is here to help with advice and support where we can. Please refer to www.doncaster.gov.uk for latest information on Covid controls and guidance. We are also happy to answer specific questions or offer clarifications where possible.

Please e-mail your enquiries or concerns to regulation@enforcement@doncaster.gov.uk

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