RE-OPENING OF LICENCED PREMISES – USE OF OUTDOOR SPACE.

To all our member clubs who are also licenced premises, I have been trying to get further clarification on what the relaxation of the measures announced last week in relation to the hospitality industry mean for our clubs. I know that it was announced that premises with large outdoor spaces could re-open their bar facilities but that obviously has implications for access to clubhouses and also an effect on staff working practices.

I have been told that these new regulations have been passed to local councils to administer. I have spoken with the Environmental Health department in my own council area – Antrim and Newtownabbey but can safely say that all councils will be offering the same advice.

At present the council are trying to get urgent clarification from the Executive in relation to use of outdoor spaces for table service and sale of alcohol and they have promised to email me any updates once they become available. Therefore at present the only advice they can offer is that Clubs may use their outdoor space so long as current social distancing measures are adhered to and that it is table service only. That said the regulations are changing on a weekly basis so any advice offered today is likely to change by the end of the week.

I have asked the following questions of the Environmental Health Officer which I feel are relevant not just to us but most in the hospitality industry.

  1. Are clubs allowed to give access to indoor toilet facilities to members once the use of outdoor spaces is approved for the 3rd July?
  2. If the weather is inclement are there any provisions to allow members to move inside? If the answer is NO and at the minute it probably is NO, do we then tell members that bar facilities are therefore closed?
  3. If question 2 applies how then can we bring bar staff off furlough if the weather conditions then prevent us from selling beverages to our members? Most clubs will be worried that if they cannot generate enough revenue to cover costs of staff and other bills then they will rightly ask whether or not they feel it worthwhile to open.

I hope to get some answers at some stage this week and will post here and on the Facebook page once I receive the updates.

In the meantime for those clubs who are making preparations to reopen there are a number of useful publications available and a sample risk assessment available at the following links.

https://www.hseni.gov.uk/publications/example-covid-19-risk-assessment-template
https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/publications?keys=coronavirus&page=1

In the meantime as always stay safe, play safe
Yours
Safeguarding Officer.