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Home > News > BEIS to lead on Government’s taskforce for reopening the hospitality industry

BEIS to lead on Government’s taskforce for reopening the hospitality industry

15 May 2020 | Melissa Toney

As the Government sets out it’s roadmap for lifting restrictions, Melissa Toney looks at how the Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) task force are working with the hospitality industry to help re-open businesses.

The Government has a planned timetable for lifting restrictions, with a timeline that will allow businesses to plan a return to trading. In order to facilitate the fastest possible re-opening of ‘types of higher-risk businesses and public places’, it will carefully phase and pilot re-openings to test their ability to adopt to the new COVID-19 Secure guidelines. It will also monitor the effects of re-opening other similar establishments elsewhere in the world, as this happens.

‘COVID-19 Secure’ Guidelines

Many of the measures will require the development of new safety guidelines that set out how each type of physical space can be adapted to operate safely. The Government has been consulting relevant sectors, industry bodies, local authorities, trades unions, the Health and Safety Executive and Public Health England on their development. Intricate to these plans the Government have established a new five-ministerial task force to work closely with stakeholders in these sectors to develop ways for how and when these ailing businesses and public places can become COVID-19 Secure.

Re-opening Plans

These groups are expected to map out the reopening of the non-essential retail, recreation, leisure, places of worship and international aviation sector. The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will lead this task force with input from the UK Hospitality (UKH) and the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) who will gather intelligence and gain advice from the industry to create a relevant and secure re-opening plan as soon as possible.

Re-opening plans will have to be bespoke and will require a lot of lateral thinking to be effective. Social distancing remains a challenge in any business, more so in the hospitality industry which is designed to provide the opposite of social distancing. The problems are going to be more complex than ensuring there are two meters between people. It is therefore essential that the plans and procedures put in place can be applied to each establishment, taking into account its unique location, space and layout.

Regulatory & Licensing Law

Many hospitality businesses are making changes to the services they provide. Some are offering pop up restaurants and bars with take-away and delivery services. Others are re-purposing their premises or the products they provide. Each of these business changes may involve updating or varying your licence, and ensuring you comply with standard regulations. Involving a specialist regulatory or licensing solicitor early on in the process is recommended. Getting the right legal advice in the planning stages can save you time and money in the long run.

If you would like to discuss how these re-opening plans will affect your business, please do not hesitate to contact Melissa Toney, Head of Regulatory and Licensing. Call 0117 906 9400 or email

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

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