Hospitality Business Guidance

The latest updates and information for Businesses in the hospitality sector including, Lisenced premises, pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes.

1. The latest advice and guidance
2. Workplace safety guidance
3. Face coverings
4. Grants and Business rates support
5. Useful Links

1. The latest advice and guidance

Covid Alert Level – Tier 3 Very High

Due to the high levels of Coronavirus evident across Greater Manchester, Bolton has now been placed on the ‘Very High’ Covid alert level by the Government. 
This means that from Friday 23rd October 2020, pubs and bars must close unless they operate as a restaurant, which means serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal. They may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal. 

Other restricted businesses

The following businesses must also not operate:

  1. nightclubs;
  2. dance halls;
  3. discotheques;
  4. other premises which open at night and have a dance floor and provides music to dance to;
  5. sexual entertainment venues;
  6. hostess bars;
  7. casinos;
  8. betting shops and adult gaming centres;
  9. bingo halls
  10. soft play areas

A business or service does not fall within category (b), (c) or (d) if it ceases to provide music and dancing. 

In category (e) “sexual entertainment venue” has the meaning given in paragraph 2A of Schedule 3 to the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982(1). 

In category (f) “hostess bar” has the meaning given by paragraph 3B of that Schedule.

Therefore, your business may only continue to sell alcohol for consumption on the premises if –
  1. the alcohol is only served for consumption on the premises as part of a ‘table meal
  2. the food and drink are ordered by, and served to, a customer who is seated on the premises, and
  3. you take all reasonable steps to ensure that customer remains seated whilst consuming the food and drink on the premises. 
A “table meal” is:
  • A meal that you’d expect to serve as a main midday or main evening meal (or as a main course at either such meal)
  • A meal eaten by a person seated at a table, (or at a counter/or other structure functioning as a table where people are seated)

For the avoidance of doubt, alcohol can only be ordered if the customer is ordering or consuming a main meal. Whilst the Regulations do not address what a main meal is, it is our view that the meal must be something substantial, more than just a bar snack. Businesses should exercise judgement in line with the licensing objectives, around what is considered to be reasonable when alcohol is ordered and consumed during the relevant timeframe. Authorities will expect to see businesses ensure that customers do not attempt to undermine the purpose of the restrictions. Officers will work with venues on the ground to advice what would be considered appropriate in line with the regulations.
Premises must also take all reasonable steps to ensure that the customer remains seated whilst consuming the food or drink on the premises.

Alcohol sold by a hotel or other accommodation as part of room service is not to be treated as being sold for consumption on its premises

The authority will expect businesses to ensure that customers do not undermine the purpose of the restrictions. 

If your business is not currently registered with Environmental Health to provide food.
Therefore, if you want to introduce food preparation and provision, you need to contact Environmental Health to discuss your HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) plans plans and food safety controls.  Points to consider are:

  • You must register with Environmental Health at least 28 days before opening.  However, due to the current circumstances, if you intend to provide food, then you need to register as soon as possible.  You can do this online 
  •  For further advice on setting up a food business please refer to the following
  •  You will need a Food Safety Management System – The Food Standard Agency’s (FSA) Safer Food Better Business Catering Pack is recommended. 
  • Allergen management plans must be documented, implemented and all staff trained in how to deal with allergen queries. 

Food Safety inspections will take place unannounced and an assessment will be made of hygiene practices, cleanliness, structure and management systems.A food hygiene rating will be issued and displayed on the FSA website.

If you serve food and drink (but not alcohol) for consumption on the premises

If you do not serve alcohol for consumption on the premises, you may continue to sell food or drink for consumption on the premises only if you take all reasonable steps to ensure that the customer remains seated whilst consuming the food or drink on the premises.

 Any queries can be sent to:

Operating Restrictions and Guidance

In addition, the following Covid restrictions remain in place;

  • You must operate in a COVID-secure manner.
  • Food and drink must be ordered from, and served at, a table, in both indoor and outdoor licensed premises.
  • Take reasonable steps to ensure customers do not socialise with anybody they do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with), either inside the venue or in any outdoor area.
  • Where premises are permitted to open, the 10pm curfew continues to have effect. Only a cinema, theatre or concert hall may operate at or after 10pm in order to conclude a performance which began before that time.
  • Businesses selling food for consumption off the premises, can continue to do so after 10pm if this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-thru.  The customer must not enter your premises.
  • You are required to collect customer, visitor and staff data to support NHS Test and Trace.  You also need to display the official NHS QR code poster so that customers can ‘check-in’ using this option.
  • You must check that customers have used the QR code to check in. If they don’t use the QR code you must take the customers details, which should be kept for 21 days.
  • You must carry out a Covid risk assessment in relation to measures you have in place to keep your staff safe. All staff need to read it and ensure they comply with it
  • Staff must stay 2m apart and must wear face coverings.
  • Customers must wear face coverings, except when seated at a table to eat and drink.  You must remind your customers to wear face coverings.
  • Signs advising customers to wear face coverings must be placed in prominent positions throughout the premises.
  • If your employees are required to self-isolate, you must not allow them to continue to work in any setting.

 Licensing and Environmental Health will be carrying out monitoring visits and whilst we recognise the implications and consequences of these restrictions on local businesses, those that fail to comply may face fines of up to £10,000, prosecution, or in some cases closure

2. Workplace safety guidance

We understand that this continues to be a worrying and distressing time for businesses and raises many questions.  Please be assured that we are working hard with our partners in health and elsewhere to keep all our residents safe and to do everything we can to help businesses to continue to run in the safest way possible.

The safety of you and your staff and the safety of your customers remains paramount in enabling this to take place and we continue to offer any assistance we can to provide extra support for the hospitality sector.
Please see below a link to the latest information available for settings including;

  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Pubs
  • Cafes
  • Takeaways

This guidance outlines;  

  • Practical actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19
  • How to use NHS Track & Trace
  • What to do in the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case(s)
  • Contact information should you need further assistance

Download the Information Card 

3. Face coverings

It  is important that you ensure that your staff are wearing face-coverings in areas that that are open to the public and where they're likely to come into contact witha member of the public. 

A face covering is: something which safely covers the nose and mouth. You can buy reusable or single-use face coverings.

If businesses have taken steps to create a physical barrier or screen between workers and members of the public then staff behind the barrier or screen will not be required to wear a face covering. Enforcement action can be taken if barriers and screens are in place which do not adequately mitigate risks.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) can issue fines (Fixed Penalty Notices - £200) to those who fail to wear face coverings. 
The latest guidance has been issued by Government in relation to working safely in takeaways, cafes, restaurants, bars and pubs.  Guidance in being updated all the time, so please ensure you remain up to date on any changes.

Please download this poster and display in a visable location in the relevant area to act as a reminder for customers and staff about wearing face coverings. 

If you fail to display such a notice you can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice for £1000 by Bolton Council.

The situation will be monitored and and any continued non – compliance will be reported to GMP.
In order to minimise the spread of coronavirus throughout the population - everyone must play their part. 
If you would like any further information, please do not hesitate to make contact with the team at

4. Business rates and grant support

This support will take the form of a grant funding scheme in Financial Year 2020-2021, called the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG).

These grants will be issued for each two-week period that a business is closed following the implementation of localised restrictions and business closures.

The Grant aims to help those business hardest hit by the local Covid-19 restrictions. Find out more about the Local Lockdown Restrictions Grants for Bolton here.

To find out more about the financial support through the Government and Business Rates Reductions - please see our financial support page.

5. Useful Information

  • Check the latest guidance for your business working safely guidance to stay Covid19 Secure, this includes guidance on face coverings and self isolation for staff.
  • #Openforbusiness - if you would like free promotional materials to support your business, including posters and floor stickers contact the team or download posters at


Published: 22nd October 2020