Hospitality venue guidance

While no date has been set for when theatres might be able to reopen for live performances, some theatres may be able to benefit from being allowed to reopen for other purposes from 4 July.

The guidance issued for hospitality venues on 23 June may be useful particularly for theatres with substantial bar / café areas or outdoor space, as well as for pub theatres if they operate the pub part as well.

It is expected there will be relaxation in licensing / planning to allow for extension into outdoor spaces, which is alluded to in the guidance but does not seem to have been published yet.

Key points and considerations if it is viable for your theatre to do this:

  • Registration needs to be kept of customers and visitors – so thought will be needed as to how to practically manage, maintain and data protect this for those not pre-booking online
  • Distance is to remain at 2m but where this isn’t possible 1m is allowed with mitigation
  • Venues should encourage outdoor seating by increasing it and make use of outdoor spaces, car parks, etc
  • For indoors there is to be no standing and no more than two households at each table
  • For outdoors two households or six individuals from different households are allowed at each table, and standing is allowed if distanced from other groups. Indoor customers should receive table service but this isn’t an absolute requirement
  • For outdoors table service is encouraged
  • There should be no touching of bars or serving counters and queues should be avoided
  • Reusables should be avoided – so disposable menus or choices on boards, cutlery provided when food served, disposable condiments. If condiments are not disposable they should be cleaned between uses
  • Payment should be contactless and app ordering encouraged
  • There should be planning for adverse weather – so gazebos, awnings, etc. Where possible one-way systems should be in place
  • Clear marking of restrictions, displaying of guidance and rules
  • Servicing and maintenance should be carried out at night or when closed
  • Ensure level access maintained
  • Avoid queues forming for toilets
  • Where there are queues for service consider the impact on neighbouring uses and outdoor spaces

As well as food and drink there may also be an opportunity for some theatres to host or reinstate weddings which have also been allowed up to 30 people.

  • No live performance but recorded music can be played but not at a volume that would encourage the raising of voices
  • Communal dancing should also be prevented

The full hospitality guidance can be downloaded from the government website

Guidance for all sectors, including construction, which may be helpful for theatres undergoing capital projects, can also be found on the government website.