Coronavirus: guide for hospitality businesseses tier 3/lockdown

Coronavirus: guide for hospitality businesses

Government restrictions

Bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes must close, except for delivery or takeaway services.

See which venues must close and what they can and can’t do (GOV.UK).

You must:

  • not serve food or drink on the premises
  • follow any existing licensing and requirements

Takeaway and alcohol sales


You can sell alcohol for delivery only.

Customers must order it online, by phone or text. You must deliver it to the customer at their home or another building with a fixed address. 

Customers cannot buy or collect alcohol from your premises.

When delivering:

  • make sure the person you deliver to is the same who made the order
  • check the customer’s age if the person looks under 25

Sales of alcohol will always be subject to licensing hours conditions. 

If your licence includes off sales, you can sell alcohol during the hours your licence permits.

If off sales has been added to your licence following COVID-19 restrictions, you can only sell alcohol until 11pm.

You can sell alcohol in sealed or unsealed containers. 

Food and non-alcoholic drinks

Between 5am and 11pm

Customers can enter your premises to buy food and non-alcoholic drinks only. They must leave before they eat or drink them. 

Alternatively you can ask customers to order remotely online, by phone or text, for collection or delivery.

Between 11pm and 5am

You can sell food and non-alcoholic drinks but it must be:

  • ordered online, by phone or text, and delivered to the customer
  • pre-ordered online, by phone or text, and collected by the customer, without them entering the premises
  • sold as part of a drive-through where customers don't leave their vehicles, pre-ordering isn't necessary

Selling hot food after 11pm will:

  • need a late night refreshment licence
  • be subject to licensing hours

Click and collect

You can offer a click and collect service as long as it follows the rules above.

Outside space

Customers are not allowed to consume food or drinks at your premises, including in your outdoor space.

Social distancing and queuing

Social distancing

You must monitor the number of people on your premise to make sure social distancing can be maintained.


You must make sure that customers keep 2 metres apart when queuing to enter your premises or while in your premises. You may need to put up signs, put down floor or pavement markings, or use marshalling to manage queues.

We can provide pavement stencils or signs. Email to ask for these.

NHS Test and Trace

We recommend you:

  • display an NHS Test and Trace QR code in your premises
  • ask customers to check in using the NHS COVID-19 app if they wait for their order inside your premises

You can create a QR code on GOV.UK.

GOV.UK has more information about NHS Test and Trace in the workplace.

Face coverings

GOV.UK has information on who must wear a face covering and when.

Staff in hospitality businesses must wear face coverings:

  • when serving customers
  • in all areas that are on view to the public

They can wear visors in addition to a face covering, but a visor alone is not acceptable.

Staff don’t have to wear face coverings:

Customers must wear face coverings when they enter the premises to collect food or drink.

Customers don’t have to wear a face covering if they are exempt, for example because of a health condition. You can ask a customer if they’re exempt and ask them to wear a face covering if they’re not. A customer doesn’t have to show proof of their exemption.