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Advice for businesses reopening outdoor hospitality venues

From Monday 26th April, outdoor areas at hospitality venues inWaitress outdoors Wales can reopen after being closed for months due to covid restrictions.

April 21st, 2021

Pubs, cafés, bars, private members clubs and restaurants will be able to serve customers outside.

To do this more comfortably, some venues may want to erect outdoor shelters to provide some protection from the changeable Welsh weather.

To be considered ‘outdoors’, shelters, marquees and other structures cannot be ‘enclosed’ or ‘substantially enclosed’ to comply with the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) Regulations. If the structure has a roof, at least 50% of the area of their ‘walls’ or sides must be open at all times when in use.

This does not include any windows or doors within the structure. This ‘50% rule’ has been taken from smoke free premises legislation, so if you cannot smoke in a structure or building, it will also not be able to be used for outdoor hospitality when the sector reopens. Below are examples of suitable and unsuitable outdoor shelters:

Indoor and Outdoor tableIt is also important to site structures as far away from any permanent structures, eg walls or hedges as these may then accidentally form part of the perimeter of the structure as they act to enclose these sides.

As a guide, a structure should be at least 1.5 metres away from any materials or other structure that would act to enclose these sides.It is important to remember that not only must any outdoor shelter comply with the legislation on smoking, but also with laws relating to Planning, Building Control and the conditions for licensed premises eg the positioning of the structure means that your CCTV is not effective.

It is also advisable that businesses contact the Fire Officer to discuss any impact the shelter may have on fire escape routes etc. For further information on this and how to calculate whether your structure can be used as an outdoor structure, please visit our ‘Smoke Free’ page.

UK Hospitality Cymru has also released the following mitigating guidance for re-opening outdoors in Wales for the hospitality (pubs, bars, cafés, restaurants and licensed venues) sector. 

This guidance has been produced in consultation with industry stakeholders and applies to hospitality businesses in Wales. Reference should also be made to the Welsh Government web page on current alert levels and any transitional arrangements that may be in place. These may change at short notice so it is advised that the page is checked regularly.