Licensing Act 2003 overview
COVID-19 Update September 2020
The government have announced several recent changes that affect the hospitality industry. We appreciate that some changes may be confusing at a time that is extremely difficult to manage the business. We have noted some of the recent changes and included links to the relevant further information to assist you. These are now mandatory requirements and covered by regulations.
Please see these changes announced by the Prime Minister on 22 September 2020.
- From 24 September, any restricted business must not carry on that business or service between 10pm and 5am.
- Includes pubs, bars, restaurants (including those in hotels), takeaways, cafes, social clubs, cinemas, bingo and concert halls, theatres, bowling alleys, amusement arcades (or other similar leisure facilities), funfairs, theme parks and adventure parks.
- Any premises operating a takeaway service after 10pm can only do so via delivery or drive throughs; no collections from the premises can take place.
- The regulations can be found online.
- From 24 September there is a requirement to display the NHS QR posters, which are unique to each venue. Businesses can download posters for their premises online. There are also FAQs for businesses on QR codes.
- An alternative check-in method, such as a handwritten register, must be maintained to collect the contact details of those who don't have the app. Records must be kept securely for 21 days. See the guidance on how to record and keep this information safely.
- The premises must take all reasonable steps to refuse entry to an individual who has not provided the requisite details or where none of the group has done so in accordance with the requirements. This also applies where the details are incomplete, or the specified person believes they are inaccurate.
- See the guidance and the regulations.
- From 24 September food or drink must be ordered by, and served to, a customer who is seated on the premises (indoors and outdoors).
- Applies to businesses which serve alcohol for consumption on the premises.
- The regulations can be found online.
- No bookings for a table of more than 6 can be accepted
- No groups of more than 6 are admitted to the premises
- No mingling between groups are permitted
- Appropriate distance is maintained between tables occupied between groups.
- See the regulations online.
- From 24 September this includes public houses, restaurants, bars (including in hotels and members clubs) and theatres.
- Customers are required to wear face coverings except when seated to eat or drink.
- Staff must wear face coverings in any areas which are open to the public.
- The regulations can be found online.
The premises must be Covid Secure and have an appropriate risk assessment that determines this. Please refer to the latest government guidance for restaurants, bars and takeaway services which can be found online. This document will be updated when required.
Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire Police are urging local businesses to continue to operate responsibly as we continue through the busy summer season.
The council is starting to become aware of, and receive applications for, events taking place at locations across Wiltshire with live bands performing.
The council is working with businesses to offer advice and guidance so that they can safely welcome people back to their venues in a COVID-secure way. However, it is important that owners take responsible steps to avoid entertainment that will encourage people to forget social distancing measures, to help keep transmission of the virus low across Wiltshire.
The council and government do have powers to prohibit events if they have concerns about the possible impact on public safety but this would be a last resort. We hope by encouraging responsible behaviour, business owners and venues will consider the wider implications that live music events could have. These events, even if designed to be held in a socially distanced way will inevitably lead to people singing and dancing and mixing with others outside of their household. We continue to see outbreaks of the virus across the country and the threat of local lockdown remains a very real possibility, as we have seen in other areas.
We want people to enjoy meeting family and friends and enjoying a day out to support their local businesses but it is vital we continue to observe the social distancing measures that are still in place.
For advice and guidance you can contact email@example.com
Guidance for organising an event during COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a large effect on the events industry. Wiltshire Council is committed to supporting event organisers, but only where events are planned safely in line with the latest Regulations and Government Guidance.
When planning an event, you should make sure that you follow the latest Government Guidance and can provide a suitable and sufficient risk assessment to be able to determine your event as COVID-19 secure. Please bear in mind that national and local guidance may change, which means it may be necessary to amend, cancel or reschedule your event at very short notice.
The Council, Wiltshire Police and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will be monitoring events for compliance and taking appropriate action if events are not complying to the correct guidance.
Depending on the scale of the event, you may still be required to submit your event management plan to the Event Safety Advisory Group (ESAG) for consideration and advice.
COVID-19 risk assessment check list
To help you create a risk assessment, please see the following check list.
The Licensing Act 2003 combines the licensing of the sale of alcohol, the provision of regulated entertainment and the provision of late-night refreshment.
The following are licensable under the act:
- The retail sale of alcohol (including via the internet or mail order)
- The wholesale of alcohol to members of the public
- The supply of alcohol to members of registered clubs
- The supply of hot food or drink between 11pm and 5am.
The provision of regulated entertainment in the presence of an audience, which includes:
- Performance of a play
- Film exhibitions
- Indoor sporting events
- Boxing or wrestling events (both indoor and outdoor)
- Performing live music
- Playing recorded music
- Dance performances
- Entertainment of similar descriptions
There are various types of licence available under the Licensing Act 2003.
The Deregulation Act 2015 received Royal Assent on the 26 March 2015 and made a number of changes to the Licensing Act 2003. The amendments are:
- The requirement to renew personal licences has been abolished with effect from 1 April 2015.
- The offence of selling liqueur confectionary to children under 16 will be repealed with effect from 26 May 2015. After that date a person of any age can buy liqueur confectionary.
- The requirement to report lost or stolen licences to the police before applying for duplicates will be abolished with effect from 26 May 2015.
- The limit of the number of temporary events that can be held at single premises will increase from 12 to 15 per year from 1 January 2016.
- Changes to regulated entertainment will take effect from 6 April 2015.
Live amplified music in on-licensed premises authorised and open for the sale of alcohol does not require a licence for audiences up to 500 until 11pm. This includes beer gardens and terraces if they are included in the licensed premises. If a beer garden is not shown on the licensed plans then it is likely to be a workplace which benefits from a similar exemption. Karaoke is considered live music.
Live unamplified music does not need a licence anywhere and with no audience limit between 8am to 11pm.
Recorded music in on-licensed premises benefits from the same exemption as live music, with the same audience limit of up to 500 and covers DJs and discos. Up until now most recorded music above background level has been licensable under the act. There is no equivalent "workplace" exemption.
Background live and recorded music continues to be exempt.
'Plays' could include school performances but also a themed story with paid actors at a pub. 'Performances of dance' includes any dancing that is intended to entertain an audience. For audiences up to 500 (and in the case of indoor sporting events, up to 1,000) from 8am until 11pm none of these activities require authorisation under the act.
Lap-dancing and other forms of sexual entertainment on up to 11 occasions a year remain regulated under the 2003 act (any more will usually require a Sexual Entertainment Venue licence).
A "not-for-profit" film exhibition held in a community premises between 8am until 11pm on any day provided that the audience does not exceed 500. The organiser must get consent from a person responsible for the premises and ensure that the screening abides by age classification ratings.
The showing of pre-recorded films which are incidental to some other activity is not licensable. This will be dependent on the facts of each case and whether the showing of any pre-recorded film is likely to undermine one of the licensing objectives.
This activity remains regulated under the act (and now explicitly includes mixed martial arts), apart from Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling provided that the audience does not exceed 1000 and takes place between 8am and 11pm.
None of the exemptions affect the need to apply for copyright licensing or the requirement to not cause a noise nuisance.
The premises licence holder or club premises certificate holder must make sure that an age verification policy applies to the premises in relation to the sale or supply of alcohol.
This must as a minimum require individuals who appear to the responsible person to be under the age of 18 years of age to produce on request (before being served alcohol) identification bearing their photograph, date of birth, and a holographic mark.
Examples of acceptable ID include:
- A form of ID which meets the criteria laid out above
- Photo card driving licences
- Proof of age cards bearing the PASS hologram (E.g. VALIDATE UK or CitizenCard)
The premises licence holder or club premises certificate holder must ensure that staff (in particular staff who are involved in the supply of alcohol) are made aware of the existence and content of the age verification policy applied by the premises.
This condition does not exclude best practice schemes such as Challenge 21 or Challenge 25 which require individuals who appear to be under an age which is greater than 18 to provide ID.
Recent terrorism events across Europe have raised concerns about security at events and large crowd gatherings. Although it is not possible to completely protect our public events, putting some interventions in place will hopefully make them less attractive to places to target.
Licences available under the Licensing Act 2003
- Temporary Event Notice
- Premises Licence
- Personal Licence
- DPS authorisations and licence requirements
- Club Premises Certificate
- New Premises Licence Applications / Variations
- Review Applications