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Outdoor hospitality

Mid Kent Environmental Health

Guidance for outdoor hospitality businesses opening up on the 12 April 2021.


What do I need to do?


Carry out a Covid-19 risk assessment to determine the hazards and risk associated with your business.

  • Step 1 - Identify hazards
  • Step 2 - Identify who can be harmed
  • Step 3 – Assess the risk
  • Step 4 - Implement control measures
  • Step 5 – Review regularly

Check out the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website for guidance on risk assessments.

You should look at government guidance regularly as you prepare to restart activities as it can change quickly.

You should follow any advice and guidance given by your trade association.

Key date


12 April 2021

Central government has been clear in their message that the dates suggested for each phase of the reopening is a guide only. The actual dates that each stage occur will be informed by data and subject to four distinct tests.

See here for guidance and here for the 'Steps' legislation.

The Obligations regulations and Contact Tracing regulations are both very important for the hospitality sector.

Key points


icons for covid safe guidance

icons-for-covid-safe-guidance Ensure you are Covid-secure.
table service only Table service only.
icons for covid safe guidance Encourage customers to wear a face covering unless eating or drinking. They must be worn inside.
wash hands regularly Wash hands regularly.
social distancing Follow social distancing rules, spacing and layout of tables and chairs is import.
icons for covid safe guidance Toilets are ok to use.
takeaway food and drink Takeaway food and drink ok. Customers must not enter the premises.
sign for NHS Test and Trace Follow contact tracing rules taking details of all customers you must use the NHS QR code and have a non-digital back up.

Do not...

x to indicate things not to do

icons-for-covid-safe-guidance Don’t allow groups of people to mix (Rule of 6 people or 2 households).
icons for covid safe guidance Don’t allow customers to use any indoor facilities except for toilets.
loud music Do not play music too loud as it encourages people to get close and shout to each other.
do not queue Do not allow customers to consume takeaway on or near the premises.
shisha pipe Shared smoking equipment, such as shisha pipes is not allowed.
a marquee Outdoor shelter walls must be at least 50% open. Pods and igloos are not permitted.

Points to consider

thinking cloud

  • How will you ensure gatherings do not form on or outside your premises?
  • Have you worked out your maximum capacity? How will you monitor this?
  • Do you need to have a pre-booking system?
  • How will you ensure social distancing? Especially when customers are consuming alcohol?
  • Do you have sufficient PPE?
  • Do you have hand sanitiser?
  • How and when will you sanitise any equipment?
  • How will you prevent toilets from becoming crowded?
  • Do you have a test and trace system in place?
  • Do you need a one-way system?
  • Download your signage from our posters and signs for businesses page

Contact for advice

contact icon

Mid Kent Environmental Health Services

Maidstone Borough Council logoSwale Borough Council logoTunbridge Wells Borough Council logo