Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Advice for Alcohol Licensing

This page includes information for premises licensed under the Licensing Act 2003.


Update  19th December 2020

FAQ's for businesses :

Up to date regulations :


Wales is now in Alert Level 4.

Hospitality venues are required to be closed, takeaway and food delivery services may remain open. This means people can continue to enter premises to access takeaway services, including delivery drivers, but all reasonable measures must be put in place by those responsible for carrying on the business to mitigate the risk of coronavirus spreading when working in other people's households. This includes ensuring that 2 metres distance is maintained between persons on the premises, as well as people waiting to enter the premises.

Businesses are encouraged to take orders in advance online or by telephone, and businesses must not provide seating areas, indoors and outdoors, for customers to consume food or drink.

Restaurants, cafés and pubs which do not otherwise offer delivery and hot food takeaway are able to offer such services at Level 4.

People must not consume food or drinks on site at restaurants, cafés or pubs whilst waiting for takeaway food.

Those venues offering takeaway or delivery services must not include alcoholic beverages in this list if their licence does not already permit.


Update 1st December

Restrictions are in place for hospitality settings from 18:00 on Friday 4th December and will be kept under review.  The temporary Christmas Rules and 'Christmas bubbles' from 23-27 December will only apply to meeting in each other's households, and the rule of four will remain in place for hospitality settings over this period.

  • All hospitality settings, including restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars can open indoors and outdoors for the consumption of food and non-alcoholic drinks and must close by 18:00. Alcoholic drinks cannot be served or consumed at any time within these premises and this will be strictly enforced.
  • Hotels and other accommodation providers can serve food and non-alcoholic drinks in bar/restaurant areas within their premises up to 22:00 to residents, but must close by 18:00 to non-residents.
  • For room service, residents can order food and drink at any time for consumption in their own rooms, but this must not include alcohol after 22:00. No alcohol can be served to guests in their bedrooms between 10pm and 06am following morning.
  • Takeaway services can still operate as normal, provided food and drinks are sold for consumption off the premises and do not include alcohol after 22:00. Premises with a licence for off-sales can continue to sell alcohol until 22:00 as part of the takeaway offer. Face coverings and physical distancing rules must be followed.
  • For bookings made for weddings and civil partnership receptions and funeral wakes before 30 November at hotel and accommodation (for up to the maximum of 15 people allowed indoors and 30 outdoors), non-residents and residents can remain until 22:00 for food and non-alcoholic drinks. For those booked after 30th November the venue must close by 18:00 to non-residents.
  • The current Wales restrictions don't permit any cross border travel without a reasonable excuse and to take a holiday is not currently considered a reasonable excuse.
  • All settings must keep in place measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus in their venues. For example:
  • Controlled entry, with pre-booking where possible and keeping the number of walk-ups to a minimum
  • Table Service - all food and drink must be ordered, served and consumer at the table and payment should be taken at the table wherever possible
  • Physical distancing measures must be applied, such as tables being spaced out
  • Groups of up to 4 people (not including any children aged under 11) can meet in a hospitality setting. Single households are permitted to gather in groups of larger than four, but this must be verified by the premises
  • Face coverings must be worn by staff and customers, other than when seated to eat or drink
  • Contact details (name, phone, date and time of arrival and departure) must be collected and retained for 21 days for NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect service. In all premises customers are required to provide verification of their name when filling in contact details
  • Live music should only take place if the venue can demonstrate that risks can be mitigated. TV broadcasts should be kept at low volume

Update : Rules for opening from 9th November




You should read the relevant sections of the guidance, but listed below are some of the key points.

  • Up to four people (not including children aged under 11) from different households can meet - but this should be a maximum not a target. The only exception is if more than four people live together in one household - applies both indoors and outdoors
  • All regulated premises must take all reasonable steps to minimise the risk of exposure to the virus including continuing to ensure compliance with Social Distancing requirement. Where up to 4 people from different households are sat together at a table, every effort should still be made by the business and the customer to ensure that they maximise distance at the table
  • There must be a person controlling entry in respect of the sale or supply of food or drink for consumption on the premises, pre-booking wherever possible with details of all members of the group taken as part of the booking and verified on arrival and allocating a limited time for example a booking period/dwell time of up to 2 hours (120 minutes) for each group
  • Keeping records of staff, customers and visitors to support the Test, Trace, Protect service is mandatory, their telephone numbers, date of visit arrival and departure time must be collected and retained for 21 days (the NHS app is not a substitute for this)
  • Customers are required to provide verification of their name. Methods of verification may vary but might for example include drivers licence, bank or credit cards. Particular attention should be given to the details of a household group over 4 to ensure they are from the same address
  • Customers must be seated (anywhere other than at a bar) when ordering food or drink, when being served with food and drink, and when consuming food and drink. If paying at the counter, social distancing should be maintained. In unlicensed premises customers can order and pay at the counter subject to maintaining social distancing, but should consume food and drink at their table.
  • Premises must stop selling and serving alcohol at 10pm and be closed (with no members of the public allowed to be on the premises) by 10.20pm. They can continue to provide take-aways and take-away delivery services beyond 10pm. However, these services cannot include any alcohol beyond 10pm.
  • All staff and customers should wear face coverings unless the person is under 11 or has a reasonable excuse not to wear the face covering (e.g. to eat or drink).
  • The obligation is on members of the public to adhere to the latest travel restrictionsWhilst businesses are not legally responsible for enforcing these requirements on their customers, they must not help customers break these restrictions. This means not knowingly accepting customers who have travelled to their premises from an area where travel is not permitted. The obligation is on the individual although a business that encourages a breach may also commit an offence.
  • All businesses must set and display the maximum capacity for the premises and put in place measures for communicating and managing the maximum capacity set
  • Ensure customers are fully aware of their responsibilities for observing social distancing and all Covid-19 safety measures using clear signage.
  • Manage  queues inside and on entry to the premises by use of signage or floor markings
  • Implement one way systems, where the building allows
  • Maximise ventilation and enhance airflow by opening windows and propping open internal doors where possible.
  • Designate a named member or members of staff (depending on number of covers) during all opening hours to monitor Covid-19 hygiene and enforcement of social distancing/safety protocols - acting as 'Covid Secure Monitors'.
  • Venues are not permitted to hold live performances, including drama, comedy or music, to take place in front of a live audience. TV broadcasts, recorded music and any other approved forms of entertainment throughout the premises should be kept at background level, and dancing and singing should be avoided
  • Avoiding shared activities in hospitality venues that would entail people breaching the rules on indoor gatherings e.g. skittles, darts, pool and other 'pub games
  • All businesses should implement rigorous cleaning and hygiene practices to keep their premises safe, with thorough and regular cleaning of high contact touch points, toilets, tables etc. Where possible, obtain hand sanitiser for dispensers at bar (point of sale and/or order) and/or at external doors.
  • Advise customers not to enter if they have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Each business must have available on site a full risk assessment, prepared in line with the Welsh Government and UK Hospitality industry guidance


Business Support

For business support and guidance please visit our COVID-19 guidance for business page Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Help for Businesses



Licensing team: 01597 827389 /

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