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Reopening guidance for outdoor hospitality

Below is further advice and guidance to the hospitality sector opening outside areas in step 2 of the roadmap out of lockdown.

Outdoor Hospitality

There will be no restrictions on opening hours (other than any specific planning or licensing restrictions that may apply) and for sale of alcohol.

There will not be a requirement to purchase a substantial meal with a drink.

However, the following restrictions and limitations will apply:

  • Outdoor service only (this means that any structure must be at least 50% open to the air)
  • Table service only (for ordering, consumption and payment)
  • Maximum number of 2 households or up to 6 people from different households
  • Social Distancing requirements will apply (2m or reduction to 1m with mitigation)
  • Customers to wear face covering when passing through permitted indoor areas e.g. for toilet usage.

Preparing to reopen

In addition, to the reopening business checklist, the hospitality sector should consider the following checks and considerations before reopening:

  • If you intend to open for outdoor service on or after the April 12, you must assess how many customers you can safely accommodate, seated, allowing for adequate social distancing, queue management, ordering and payment.
  • Make sure you have enough trained staff to manage your customers safely and in accordance with the regulations and guidance. Make sure your customers understand your rules and maximum capacity.
  • Where possible, let customers know about your rules and seating capacity before you open. Using Social Media is a good way to get the message out and manage customer expectations.
  • Make sure you have systems in place to take orders and payments at the table.
  • If you provide food, ensure your kitchen staff review your food supplies for durability dates, condition and labelling.
  • Check for any pest activity.
  • Make sure your staff have the necessary food, safety and Covid awareness training. Refreshers courses are recommended for all.
  • Carry out a deep clean of your kitchen ready for trading.
  • Review your menu and allergens controls. It’s recommended to keep your menu simple.
  • Consider introducing Covid testing for your staff. More information: get-workplace-coronavirus-tests

Noise Controls

Advice to help hospitality venues consider the impact of noise from the use of outside areas when re-opening under the government’s Covid-secure guidelines.

Covid-19 Business Re-opening – Noise Controls

Use of Marquees

Temporary changes mean that businesses such as pubs can set up a marquee for up to 56 days without the need for planning permission until 31 December 2021. 

Use of marquees guidance


We are committed to supporting businesses preparing to reopen after lockdown and have created a survey to help us capture and understand how the local hospitality sector is planning to reopen. We would really appreciate your participation in completing the survey.

Complete Survey

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Last updated: Wed 7th April, 2021 @ 16:40