Last evening the Government has published new and stricter rules coming into force immediately on staying at home and keeping away from others, in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.
These rules were announced by the Prime Minister in an address to the nation earlier today, and in brief are:
1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes
2. The closure of non-essential shops and community spaces
3. Stopping all gatherings of more than two people
Hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, caravan parks, and boarding houses for commercial/leisure use (excluding permanent residents and key workers) are all required to close.
The full publication of the rules can be seen on the Gov.uk link below
As part of the measures the government is introducing to help the hospitality industry during the coronavirus outbreak, the Communities Secretary has confirmed that planning regulations will temporarily be relaxed to allow all pubs and restaurants to operate as takeaways of hot food and drinks to serve people staying at home.
Currently, a planning application for change of use class is required to convert pubs and restaurants to hot food takeaways. Under the emergency measures the government will allow a temporary change of use without an application. This time limited permitted development right will last for 12 months.
The government will introduce the measures as soon as possible through secondary legislation.
Operators are reminded however that the sale of hot food and hot drink between 11:00pm and 05:00am will still require authorisation for late night refreshment under licensing law.
“The government today has announced it will consult on a proposal to relax licensing hours to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Victory over Japan (VJ) Day.
The proposed order will be to extend licensing hours from 2300 on the Saturday 15 August 2020 until 0100 the following morning, Sunday 16 August 2020.
In a written statement made to the Home Office, Kit Malthouse – The Minister of State for Crime, Policing and the Fire Service – said that this proposal will be subject to a short consultation with selected partners including licensing authorities, the police, residents and the licensed trade.
“The Government has confirmed that pubs, clubs and bars in England & Wales which are licensed to trade until 11pm, will be allowed to open for an additional two hours, on Friday 8 May and Saturday 9 May until 1am the following morning, to mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day.
The order, laid in Parliament yesterday, will also apply to premises licensed to provide regulated entertainment such as music, dances, plays and films.
The benefit is that any licensed premises with relevant permissions where the terminal hour ends before 01:00 will not need to apply for a Temporary Event Notice to extend the hours to 01:00.
“The Welsh Government will formally introduce a minimum unit price of 50p from 2nd March 2020, after the proposals were approved by the Welsh Assembly yesterday.
The introduction of this will mean that it will soon be an offence under The Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol)Act 2018 for alcohol to be sold in Wales below that price.
A national campaign will launch early next year to make the public, retailers and all those affected by the change aware of the introduction.“