Food & Drink

Restaurants, pubs and cafes will get automatic freedoms to provide takeaway services for another year.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced the continued relaxation of rules permitting businesses to offer a takeaway service during the pandemic, without having to go through a planning application process. This was due to end on 23rd March 2021 but will now be extended by another year. The government will also consider whether to make these reforms permanent.

For further information go to the Government's Press Release

Article added 24th November 2020

Venues required by law to record contact details

Premises and venues across England where people meet socially including hospitality, close contact and leisure venues must record contact details of customers, visitors and staff on their premises to tackle the spread of Coronavirus.

This includes businesses like pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas which must must have a system in place by law to record contact details of their customers, visitors and staff in the latest move to break the chains of transmission of Coronavirus.

These details must be stored for 21 days and shared with NHS Test and Trace, if requested, and there are fixed penalties for organisations that do not comply.

For further details of the information that must be collected, and how it should be stored, visit the Government's Contact Details website

In the meantime, the NHS COVID-19 app is currently being trialled and will launch on Thursday 24 September in England and Wales, including QR check-in at venues

QR codes will be an important way for NHS Test and Trace to contact multiple people if Coronavirus outbreaks are identified in venues. For further information, including details about how to create your own unique QR Code, visit the Government's QR Code website

Article added 11th September 2020

Face coverings must be worn in additional enclosed public spaces from 24th July in England

Under the new regulations, members of the public will need to wear face coverings – for example, a fabric covering, scarf or bandana – that covers the nose and mouth in additional enclosed public spaces, as well as frequent hand washing and careful social distancing.

It will be compulsory to wear a face covering when buying food and drink to take away from cafes and shops. If you are in a premises where you are able to sit down and consume food or drink that you have bought, then you can remove your face covering in order to eat and drink on-site.

For further information, including details of exemptions etc. visit the Website

Article added 27th July 2020


Draft Guidance for Pavement licences

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has produced draft guidance to accompany pavement licensing proposals introduced in the Business and Planning Bill.

The temporary pavement licences process introduces a streamlined consent route to allow businesses to obtain a licence to place temporary furniture, such as tables and chairs outside of cafes, bars and restaurants quickly, and for no more than £100. For further information go to MHCLG's Pavement Licence Guidance

Article added 26th June 2020


Working safely during Coronavirus

The government has produced guidance for people who work in or run restaurants and pubs including information about how to keep staff and customers safe, how to clean before re-opening and provide sanitation facilities for customers’ use, manage incoming stock etc. Visit the government's Pubs, Restaurants and Hairdressers website for further information.

Article added 25th June 2020


Food Standards Agency – Reopening Checklist

The FSA has produced a checklist to support food businesses to reopen safely during COVID-19 after a period of inaction. Link to the FSA Checklist

Article added 11th June 2020


Trading Standards Support

Devon & Somerset Trading Standards have published a useful Covid-19 Advice Page on their website aimed at supporting businesses in the food industry, particularly if planning to switch to a takeaway/home delivery service during the Covid-19 restrictions:

They are also offering businesses in Devon and Somerset regulatory advice free of charge until the end of July, so if you would like further advice for your business,  contact details are listed on their website (although please bear in mind they will be operating on reduced staff numbers):

Article Updated 8th September 2020

Website Links verified 8th September 2020