As the nation gradually moves out of full lockdown, Hart District Council is working at pace to ensure a smooth transition for the business community and our residents.
To reduce transmission of COVID-19, the Government has implemented a phased re-opening of town centres and high streets with its 4 step Roadmap out of lockdown.
From 12 April (Step 3 of the Roadmap) hospitality venues will be allowed to serve people outdoors. There will be no curfew and alcoholic drinks do not need to be accompanied by a substantial meal. Customers, however, must order, eat and drink whilst seated and wider social contact rules will still apply in all these settings to prevent indoor mixing between different households.
The Environmental Health Team at Hart will be working alongside the police to support the safe re-opening of pubs and restaurants from 12 April with regular daytime and evening patrols.
The team will continue to advise food businesses on safe working and has issued a newsletter detailing the steps that need to be taken covering food safety, hygiene, permitted outdoor structures and staff wellbeing.
Hart is also extending the provision of pavement licences for a further 12 months – until September 2022 – to make it easier for pubs, restaurants and cafes to set up al fresco dining areas. The licence fee has been capped at £100 and can be applied for at www.hart.gov.uk/street-trading.
The measures introduced to support the hospitality sector to serve takeaway food will continue to apply until March 2022 so existing registered businesses can offer the service immediately without waiting for the usual 28-day period for the application to be processed. More information at www.hart.gov.uk/food-safety-0.
Dympna Sanders, Environmental Health Manager, said: “We are looking forward to seeing pubs, cafes and restaurants open again and will be working with the business community to make re-opening successful and safe.
“With the green shoots of spring emerging, the great success of the UK’s vaccination programme and the greater availability of coronavirus testing, we hope for a brighter and more sociable 2021.”
30 March 2021