Letter to Licensees - COVID and Social Distancing Requirements

Telford & Wrekin Council is reminding operators of pubs and bars of their responsibilities in following the government’s coronavirus guidelines and keeping people safe.

Letter to Licensees - COVID and Social Distancing Requirements

It follows reports that some pub operators were not ensuring that social distancing was being adhered to.

A letter to licensees can be seen below.

Councillor Richard Overton, Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet Member for Enforcement, said: “We have seen what has happened to other parts of the country resulting in their lockdown and we do not want that to happen here.

“We are taking a robust approach to try and make sure venues offer an environment in which our residents can enjoy themselves safely. We are reminding licensees of their responsibilities and the consequences of not fulfilling them. 

“In turn, it is also important that customers play their part if we are to defeat this virus. We must continue to support our local businesses, whether they be shops, bars or restaurants, but we must do it safely. We must do this by continuing with the basics; by keeping our distance, wearing a face covering whenever possible and by washing our hands as much as possible.”

Hear Richard Overton on BBC Radio Shropshire - Broadcast 6 August 2020:

Officers from Telford & Wrekin Council are routinely monitoring all the major district centres to ensure businesses are complying with the regulations. If you have any concerns about a particular establishment, please email coronavirus@telford.gov.uk 

Full information for licensees can be found here:(click on “Licensing Advice”)

Letter to licensees:

Dear Licensee


Many of you will have no doubt seen the recent news article regarding the worrying events at a licensed premise in Stone, Staffordshire.


There are many of our licensees out there who are acting in a responsible manner, making their customers feel safe. Many of you should be commended for this fact.


However, we feel that it is important to remind our licensed trade of the need to adhere to government guidance on coronavirus. In particular, licensees need to ensure that they have a detailed risk assessment in place. This must address the need to have appropriate social distancing measures and similarly, the premises must have a robust ‘test & trace’ process. Guidance can be found here.


Following the weekend of 1st August, Public Protection Officers have received a number of reports of premises where social distancing measures were either poor, or that there appeared to be little or no controls in place from some pub operators. We are reminding licensees that it is their responsibility to ensure that when customers are indoors, that all patrons are seated at tables that meet social distancing guidelines. In addition, if customers are outside in beer gardens or licensed car parks, they again are either seated at a table, or are standing in clearly defined areas that permit social distancing. 


Officers are now routinely visiting premises to check that they are COVID safe. On any visit, if Officers feel that premises have insufficient measures in place and there is little confidence in how the premises are managed, Public Protection will be minded to take enforcement action, which may lead to the closure of premises and/or a review of the premise licence. We want to make it clear to the licensed trade of the need to fully adhere to the government guidance. By doing so, this will ensure that our bars and restaurants continue to remain open.


We are asking licensees to do their utmost to mitigate the risks.  It has taken considerable effort from many of you to finally re-open. We do not want to have to take further action but if we continue to receive reports of poor management and lack of social distancing controls we will. It must be remembered that we are still dealing with a pandemic and ensuring public safety is our primary concern. 


Finally, many of you will have seen the fact that the government have delayed the introduction of indoor live music. The government are now indicating that this stance may change on 15th August, subject to satisfactory results of a pilot scheme for indoor music and provided transmission levels remain around or below current levels. For those of you interested in resuming this licensable activity (if it is allowed as part of your Premises Licence), then we would strongly recommend that you keep an eye on the guidance we attached above.


Please remember, if you are seeking advice on matters relating to the current pandemic and how to safely operate, then you can email us at coronavirus@telford.gov.uk




Public Protection.

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