Tier 3 Hospitality Restrictions
With effect from 00.01 hours on Friday 23 October, Manchester will be placed on the Tier 3 ‘Very High’ COVID Alert Level.
This means that pubs and bars must close unless they operate as if they were a restaurant – which means serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal. They may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal.
Operating restrictions and guidance
- Businesses and venues must continue to ensure that they operate in a COVID-secure manner, including restrictions on table service and group bookings.
- Businesses and venues must take all reasonable steps to ensure that customers do not socialise with anybody they do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with), either inside the venue or in any outdoor area.
- Where businesses and venues are permitted to open, the 10pm curfew continues to have effect. Only a cinema, theatre or concert hall may operate at or after 10pm in order to conclude a performance which began before that time.
- Businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises, can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-thru.
- Businesses and venues must continue to collect customer, visitor and staff data in line with government requirements relevant to the business
Businesses and venues that fail to comply with these restrictions may face fines of up to £10,000, prosecution, or in some cases closure.
If you serve food and drink (including alcohol) for consumption on the premises
A pub, bar or other business involving the sale of alcohol for consumption on the premises must cease to carry on that business, unless:
- the alcohol is only served for consumption on the premises as part of a ‘table meal’;
- the food and drink is ordered by, and served to, a customer who is seated on the premises, and
- the business owner takes all reasonable steps to ensure that the customer remains seated whilst consuming the food or drink on the premises.
A “table meal” is:
- A meal that you’d expect to serve as the main midday or main evening meal (or as a main course at either such meal)
- A meal eaten by a person seated at a table, (or at a counter/ or other structure functioning as a table where people are seated)
For the avoidance of doubt, alcohol can only be ordered if the customer is ordering or consuming a main meal. Whilst the Regulations do not address what a main meal is, businesses should exercise judgement in line with the licensing objectives, around what is considered to be reasonable. Authorities will expect to see businesses ensure that customers do not attempt to undermine the purpose of the restrictions. Officers will work with venues on the ground to advise what would be considered appropriate in line with the regulations.
Premises must also take all reasonable steps to ensure that the customer remains seated whilst consuming the food or drink on the premises.
Alcohol 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
If a business does not currently serve food that would constitute a table meal but wants to repurpose
If you want to introduce food preparation and provision to your business, contact Environmental Health to discuss your HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) plans and food safety controls. Points to consider:
All food businesses preparing, cooking, storing, handling, distributing, supplying or selling food must register their business with the Local Authority at least 28 days before opening. If businesses are already trading and have not registered, they need to do this as soon as possible and can do so on line at:
- Food Safety Management plans must be updated to reflect any changes in food provision.
- Allergen management plans must be documented, implemented and all staff trained in how to deal with allergen queries.
Food Safety inspections will take place unannounced. An assessment will be made on the cleanliness of the premises, the structure and management of systems. A food hygiene rating will be provided after the inspection. The information will be displayed on the FSA website.
You can contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any queries, or for guidance on relevant documents.
If you serve food and drink (but not alcohol) for consumption on the premises
If you do not serve alcohol for consumption on the premises, you may continue to sell food or drink for consumption on the premises only if you take all reasonable steps to ensure that the customer remains seated whilst consuming the food or drink on the premises.
Providing takeaway services beyond 10pm
Hospitality businesses may sell food and drink for consumption off the premises between the hours of 10pm and 5am* only:
(a) by making deliveries in response to orders received –
(i) through a website, or otherwise by on-line communication,
(ii) by telephone, including orders by text message, or
(iii) by post,
(b) to a purchaser who collects food or drink that has been pre-ordered by a means mentioned in paragraph (a) (i) to (iii), provided the purchaser does not enter inside the premises to do so, or
(c) to a purchaser who collects the food or drink in a vehicle, and to whom the food or drink is passed without the purchaser or any other person leaving the vehicle.
* supplying hot food or drink after 11pm must be licensed as ‘late night refreshment’
We are waiting for the final regulations to be published by the Government, which are expected to be done on Thursday. However, this bulletin has been sent now to assist your preparations and is based on the current The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Local COVID-19 Alert Level) (Very High) (England) Regulations 2020
A follow-up bulletin will be issued with a link to the Greater Manchester regulations when published and detail any changes to the information provided above.