Licensing news

This page is designed to give those involved in the licensing trade and members of the public the latest updates on licensing legislation and best practice.

We understand that it has been a tough time for businesses that have had to close due to the national lockdown in November and we appreciate your efforts to keep people safe by doing so.

You will be aware that new requirements are now in place and that Surrey is currently designated as a Tier 2 area. As well as these new requirements there are also some older requirements remaining in place from previous regulations. In order to help you to understand what requirements are now in place and how they relate to food businesses we have provided a number of useful links below and a checklist overleaf.

The new regulations relating to tiers can be viewed online at:

Government guidance is now available and sets out what you can and cannot do in each tier:

If your business is open you will still need to have a Covid-19 risk assessment in place which identifies the measures that you will take to keep staff and customers safe. Further information can be found here:

UK hospitality have also produced guidance and FAQ's. Please note that this does not constitute legal advice and be sure to read all their disclaimers in full. We are not endorsing its contents as we are still awaiting government guidance on the regulations:

Finally, we have included below a quick checklist detailing some of the key requirements. It does not cover all situations - it is therefore essential that you refer to the comprehensive government guidance on the website.

Government guidance on Coronavirus is also changing regularly - it is therefore important that you KEEP UP TO DATE with this information via

Should you have any questions which you are unable to answer by checking on the website then you can contact the food safety team by email at


Working Safely During Coronavirus (Covid-19) Restaurants, Takeaways, Cafes, Pubs, Bars etc.Guidance for Tier 2 - December 2020 General Requirements


Businesses must only accept indoor bookings/customers for individuals from one household or support bubble.


Businesses must not accept a table booking/customers for a group of more than 6 individuals outside unless there is a qualifying exemption (e.g. all from one household or support bubble).


Businesses must take reasonable steps to prevent individuals from separate households or bubbles from mingling with each other in indoor settings.


All businesses selling food or drink must ensure that customers only consume food or drink while seated. This means that in unlicensed premises, food and drink can be purchased at a counter, but customers must sit down to consume it, even in outdoor settings.


Businesses selling food or drink (including cafés, bars, pubs, restaurants and takeaways) must be closed between 11pm and 5am, with last orders for food and drink having been placed by 10pm. Delivery services (including drive-through service) are exempt and can continue after 10pm provided they are not allowing customers on the premises.


Restricted businesses as defined by Regulation 9 of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (All Tiers) (England) Regulations 2020 must cease (examples include nightclubs, dance halls etc and may be updated).


Tables occupied by different groups must be an appropriate distance apart (e.g. 2m or 1m with mitigations such as screens or back to back seating).


Businesses providing food or drink for consumption on the premises (e.g. Restaurants, cafes, bars & pubs) must display a QR code.


Businesses providing food or drink for consumption on the premises (e.g. Restaurants, cafes, bars & pubs) must collect details of individuals or a group to enable NHS test and trace follow up (unless customers have already scanned the QR code). This information must be retained for 21 days. Where customers do not provide this information (or scan a QR code) entry should be refused.


Staff in public areas of the premises or likely to come into close contact with members of the public must wear a face covering. Additional requirements for Businesses Serving Alcohol for consumption on the premises


Venues must close unless they operate as if they were a restaurant. This means serving table meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal (limited exemptions apply). They may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal.


In venues which sell alcohol, food and drink must be ordered by, and served to, customers who are seated. This means that a business that sells alcohol must introduce systems to take orders from seated customers, instead of at a bar or counter. This applies to both indoor and outdoor settings.

COVID-19 - Advice for event organisers on gatherings such as entertainment events

During the COVID-19 pandemic in England, if you are looking to organise a gathering of more than 30 people such as for an entertainment event, then you will need to comply with the latest Coronavirus Regulations.

When national restrictions are in place, gatherings of more of 30 people for activities such as entertainment, are not allowed. When national restrictions are lifted, Local COVID Alert Levels (Medium, High, Very High) will apply to local authority areas and entertainment events are allowed following strict guidelines. For details of the current restrictions please go to and Surrey's Local COVID Alert Levels can be found at

Organised events, such as entertainment, for gatherings of more than 30 people will need to:

  • Be organised by a business, charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution, a public body, or a political body

  • Have a COVID-19 risk assessment

  • Have adequate COVID-19 secure arrangements in place following government guidance

To meet these requirements, you as the event organiser will need to carry out a suitable COVID-19 risk assessment for your event. Please see the Health and Safety Executive web page at: for guidance and information on how to do this.

Further sector advice is available at and on the Events Industry Forum website at

You as the event organisers must prepare the COVID-19 risk assessment as part of planning your event, and then implement and manage it for the duration of your event. You must make your COVOD-19 risk assessment readily available upon request by an authorised officer of the Council. A checklist has been developed to guide you through the COVID-19 secure arrangements that need to be in place for an event. This checklist should also be completed and signed off by you as part of your event application. The checklist is at

As a significant public safety issue of concern, you should send a copy of your risk assessment and the checklist with any application or notification you make. We may review your risk assessment and give feed-back. The Council will not sign off your event.

If you do not send a suitable COVID-19 risk assessment and checklist with your application or any element of the risk assessment or associated controls do not meet current Coronavirus law or guidance, your application and event will likely:

1) attract objections; and / or

2) be referred for review by the Director of Public Health (who may direct the closure, cessation and prevention of activities that may affect public health).

This may result in your application being refused and/or the event not being allowed to go ahead.

In the event of an increase in the local COVID-19 infection rates, it is possible that events that have already been agreed may be subject to suspension and / or cancellation.

The event organiser will be solely liable for all financial and other liabilities incurred because of a suspension and / or cancellation resulting from an increase in the COVID-19 infection.

COVID Working Safely Guidance (Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services)

There are regular updates to the COVID Working Safely Guidance - the changes made relate to restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services - it includes added information on penalties for breaching the rules (section 1.1) and updated guidance on Test and Trace data and display of NHS QR codes (section 2.1). 

Take part in NHS Test and Trace by keeping a record of all your customers for 21 days. From 18 September, this will be enforced in law. Some exemptions apply. Check 'Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace' for details. Please note you must have this in place, you must register for a NHS QR code and display the QR poster from 24 September.

  1. Have a system in place to ensure that you can collect that information from your customers and visitors, and provide this data to NHS Test and Trace, if it is requested. Check what data you need to collect and how it should be managed.

  2. Keep a record of all staff working on your premises and shift times on a given day and their contact details.​

  3. Display an official NHS QR code poster from 24 September 2020, so that customers and visitors can 'check-in' using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details. Official NHS QR posters can be generated online.


Updates to Guidance 'Closing certain businesses and venues in England'

Please note this is now historical information but is retained for possible future use and information

The 'Rule of six' which came into effect Monday 14 September along with other changes, the guidance 'Closing certain businesses and venues in England' has been updated. The main points regarding the new social distancing rules are shown below but please read the revised guidance to capture all the changes. It is very important that you have a good understanding of your responsibilities.

Social contact

Managing service of food and drink at a venue. To manage interactions at the venue resulting from service of food and drink. From 24 September, all businesses selling food or drink must ensure that customers only consume food or drink while seated.


Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Maintaining social distancing (2m, or 1m with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable) from customers when taking orders from customers.

  2. Using social distance markings to remind customers to maintain social distancing (2m, or 1m with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable) between customers of different households or support bubbles.

  3. Minimising customer self service of food, cutlery and condiments to reduce risk of transmission. For example, providing cutlery and condiments only when food is served.

  4. Providing only disposable condiments or cleaning non- disposable condiment containers after each use.

  5. Reducing the number of surfaces touched by both staff and customers. For example, asking customers to remain at a table where possible, or to not lean on counters when collecting takeaways.

  6. Encouraging contactless payments where possible and adjusting location of card readers to social distancing guidelines (2m, or 1m with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable).

  7. Minimising contact between front of house workers and customers at points of service where appropriate. For example, using screens or tables at tills and counters to maintain social distancing guidelines (2m, or 1m with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable).

  8. Ensuring all outdoor areas, with particular regard to covered areas, have sufficient ventilation. For example, increasing the open sides of a covered area.

  9. From 24 September, in venues which sell alcohol, food and drink must be ordered from, and served to customers who are seated, in both indoor and outdoor settings. This means that a business that sells alcohol must introduce systems to take orders and payment from seated customers, instead of at a bar or counter.

  10. From 24 September, all businesses selling food or drink must ensure that customers only consume food or drink while seated, in both indoor and outdoor settings. This may require providing additional seating areas, and asking customers to sit down to eat or drink.

Pubwatch Meetings

There are two active pub watches in Runnymede; one covering Egham and the north of the borough, the other Addlestone and the south.

The date and venue of the next pubwatch meetings will be shown below once social distancing measures are relaxed sufficiently.

Egham and district -

Chertsey and Addlestone -

All premises are encouraged to attend, and although it is called 'pubwatch' it is open to clubs as well.

For a number of premises this is a condition of their licence so they must attend.

For premises licence holders and club certificate holders, attendance at pubwatch will help you keep up to date with licensing legislation and local crime concerns. This will assist you in protecting your customers and staff by helping to promote the licensing objectives, these are:

  • The prevention of Crime and Disorder
  • Public safety
  • The prevention of public nuisance
  • The protection of children from harm.

If you want to know more about pubwatch the national pubwatch website provides addition information.

Online Licensing Applications via

Due to payment facility upgrades the online application process is currently out of action, please use the Licensing forms till further notice and submit either by post or email, to pay for your application call 01932 425711 during normal office hours.

Councils are changing the way they accept payments by introducing online payment, this involves bring a new payment system

Business and Planning Act 2020

Runnymede's policy on pavement licensing was approved on 23 July and the application form is now on our web pages.

The House of Lords put forward a number of amendments to the Act. An overview of the amendments are listed below along with Government advice:


  • Authorities must have regard to the needs of disabled people when considering whether to grant a pavement licence.

  • Licence holders must make reasonable provision for outside seating where smoking is not permitted.

  • Local authorities can delegate decisions about pavement licences to sub-committees or to officials (it is not responsibility of authority's executive).

  • Secretary of State may specify conditions but they now have to be by Regulations laid before Parliament which can reject them by resolution (and not simply published by SoS as before).


  • Limits off-sales extensions to 11pm at the latest

  • Any new permissions for off-sales do not apply to times when the premises licence does not allow sales of alcohol for consumption in outdoor areas of the premises.


  • Any extension to the provisions by Secretary of State can be made only when it is reasonable, necessary or appropriate for a purpose linked to the coronavirus pandemic.

Guidance for temporary alcohol licensing provisions and pavement licences in the Business and Planning Act.

The Business and Planning Act 2020 received Royal Accent on 22 July 2020 and is effective with immediate effect. The information below provides some very useful guidance along with  'Questions and Answers'. 

This guidance relates to the alcohol licensing provisions in the Business and Planning Act 2020 only.

This guidance relates to the pavement licensing provisions in the Business and Planning Act 2020 only.

This guidance is separate to the guidance issued on working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) issued by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

It includes information on:

  • the purpose of the temporary off-sales extension
  • the difference between pavement licences and alcohol licence
  • the new summary off-sales review process
  • general advice on conducting off-sales

The Law - Statutory Notices

It is in everyone's interest to comply with licensing law and both the police and the council are finding there is a lack of knowledge about what your responsibilities are when it comes to displaying licences or club certificates and authorisation.

In particular both Displaying the premises licence summary or club certificate and Displaying your notice of Duty to Keep and Produce the Premises Licence or club certificate are requirements (under section 57 and 94 respectively) of the Licensing Act 2003 (the 'Act'). If you do not comply you may be prosecuted and the fine can be up to £500 for each.

By following the simple steps below you can save yourself time and worry, as well as the risk of a court appearance, so please spend a few moments to ensure you are complying with the law.

Displaying the premises licence summary or club certificate

The 'Act' states you must have all pages of the summary (or certified copy of it) prominently displayed. The best practice is to display it where it can be read easily by the public and police/council officers. It must be all pages of the summary, not just the front page, and it must be readable.

We would recommend framing each page and securing them to a wall to protect the summary from mishandling or theft.

Displaying your notice of duty to keep and produce the premises licence or club certificate

As well as displaying the premises licence or club certificate you must also keep the original or certified copy on the premises and display a notice stating who has control of these, i.e. who is looking after them and knows where they are.

The 'Act' states - You are required to have a notice prominently displayed stating who has custody or control of the actual premises licence or club certificate. The premises licence or club certificate (or certified copy of it) must be on the property and it must be produced on request. Do not confuse this with the above-mentioned summary, which will be one or two pages. The complete premises licence or club certificate licence can run to five or six pages depending on your conditions.

To help you comply with the law and display this notice a template has been produced for premisesIcon for pdf Duty to keep and produce licence [196.98KB] and for clubs Icon for pdf Duty to keep and produce certificate [236.99KB] but you can use your own of course.

Authorising alcohol sales

All premises selling or supplying alcohol (except for members clubs and certain community premises) must have a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) who will be named on the premises licence. The DPS is responsible for authorising alcohol sales.

There are likely times when the DPS will not be on the premises when alcohol is being sold. For that reason we strongly suggest the DPS authorises, in writing, members of staff to sell alcohol in their absence. (note: if a personal licence holder is available at times when the DPS absent they would be able to authorise persons to sell alcohol, however to minimise the risk of unlawful sales best practice is to have a list of people authorised by the DPS.)

We have produced two forms you can complete:

One is for the DPS to complete and sign authorising named members of staff to sell or supply alcohol Icon for pdf DPS AUTHORISATION [21.46KB]

The other is for the named staff to sign, confirming they are aware of this and accept responsibility Icon for pdf Authorisation acceptance [28.91KB]

The DPS and members of staff should be aware of Icon for pdf Responsibilities of the DPS [96.65KB], details of the premises licence and the social and legal obligations and responsibilities relating to the sale of alcohol.

Entitlement to work in the United Kingdom; how Licensing Act 2003 amendments affect business owners and operators of licensed premises.

The Immigration Act 2016 came into force on 6 April 2017 and contains many notable sections affecting the Licensing Act 2003. Its general purpose is to make it more difficult to live and work illegally in the United Kingdom. Please read the attached information.Icon for pdf Entitlement to work in the UK [99.06KB]

Online right-to-work checking service

If you are applying for a personal licence, premises licence or to transfer a premises licence you must show you have a right to work in the UK.

As part of its effort to support those who conduct right to work checks, including employers and licensing authorities, the Home Office developed the online right-to-work checking service, which makes checks simpler and more secure.

The service enables UK employers and licensing authorities to check the current right to work, in real time, of a person who holds either a biometric residence permit, a biometric residence card, or who holds online immigration status issued under the EU settlement scheme, and to see whether they are subject to any restrictions.

It does this by linking to Home Office data. 

The system works on the basis of the individual first viewing their own Home Office right-to-work record.

They may then share this with an employer or licensing authority if they wish, by providing the 'share code' issued to them by the online service.

By entering the code and the applicant's date of birth, the employer or licensing authority will be able to access the individual's current right-to-work details. This includes the date of expiry, if the individual's right to work is time-limited, and any work-related conditions.

Current licensing applications

For all new premises licence applications and variations under the Licensing Act 2003 in Runnymede please see our Current licensing applications.

Guidance on gambling on licensed premises

The Gambling Act 2005 made changes to the legislation regarding gambling in licensed premises. This will affect the playing of popular games such as poker and bingo. Under certain circumstances gambling may still be permitted, but only for certain stakes and prizes. The Gambling Commission has produced some helpful guidance.