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14 May 2021 | Comment | Article by Martin Jones

Indoor hospitality reopening checklist (alcohol licensed premises) – Wales

As the hospitality industry gears up to welcome customers back into its premises after months of being closed, we wanted to make sure licensed premises are set up and ready to go.

We’ve collated a quick checklist of the rules for you to run through to make sure you’re fully prepared for when you open your doors again on Monday.

We have also a version for England here as there are a few differences.



Table service

  • Customers must be seated at all times (not at a bar) when ordering, being served with and consuming food or drink
  • Operators are encouraged to use smart phone apps to allow customers to browse menus, order and to pay for food or drink to minimise contact between staff and customers. If the necessary infrastructure is not available to take payment at the table a customer may pay at the counter, whilst observing social distancing and using a face covering

Face coverings

  • Staff should wear face coverings at all times, unless they have an exemption from doing so
  • Customers and visitors over 11 years of age must also wear face coverings whilst moving around inside hospitality premises, unless they have a reasonable excuse not to wear one
  • Face coverings can be removed when seated at a designated table to eat or drink

Social distancing

  • Social distancing must be in place for indoor service, including when taking customers’ orders and whilst queuing, including queuing for a WC
  • Operators must adopt all reasonable measures to ensure compliance with social distancing requirements of 2m between tables, although reasonable mitigations could be utilised within the premises such as maximising ventilation or using screens between tables where it is not possible to maintain 2m distance
  • Where up to 6 people are seated together at a table every effort should be made by the operator and the customers to maximise the distance from each other at the table

Test, trace and protect

  • It is mandatory to collect contact information for all staff and customers or visitors over the age of 18 years. This should include the collection of the person’s name and telephone number, date of visit and arrival and departure times. This information should be retained for 21 days. It can be collected electronically or on paper but, in either case, it must adhere to GDPR. If there is a concern that the information provided could be incorrect, operators should make reasonable efforts to verify the given information. The NHS covid–19 app does not substitute the requirement to collect information and is not mandated
  • The information may be required by NHS Wales for their test, trace and protect scheme
  • The information must not be used for any other purpose

Customer numbers – indoors and outdoors

  • Groups of up to 6 people from up to 6 households may be served indoors, whilst seated, in accordance with the seating rules, or outdoors
  • This number does not include children aged under 11 years nor does it include a person who is caring for someone participating in such a gathering
  • If a single household (not an extended household) comprises of more than 6 people they may all meet together provided they all reside at the same address

Outdoor trading

  • Operators may allow groups of up to 6 people from up to 6 households to be served outdoors
  • A customer needing to enter the building from outdoors (i.e. to pay if there is no other option, to use the WC or to pass through the building) must wear a face covering in the indoor environment and observe social distancing rules



Further guidance can be found here. If you have any queries about reopening, please get in touch with our expert team by visiting our dedicated licensing page. They’ll be happy to help.


Author bio

Martin Jones


As the Head of the Regulatory Department, Martin acts in a wide-range of regulatory crime and professional regulation matters. Martin has built up over 20 years of experience and a wealth of specialist knowledge.

He leads the firm’s cross-departmental alcohol and gaming licensing teams. Additionally Martin manages the teams providing a range of outsourced services to local authorities, including court representation of local authorities Adult and Children’s Services Departments.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.


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