Council issues lockdown guidance for food takeaway and delivery services

Credit: Scott Rothstein

South Kesteven District Council (SKDC) has issued guidance to takeaways, pubs and restaurants to meet government restrictions as some establishments flout the new rules.

On Friday 20 March, the government acted to stop, bars, restaurants, cafes and workplace canteens from selling food or drink for consumption on the premises

The very next day, new regulations came into force government food takeaways and deliveries to protect public health in the wake of recent measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.

However, as some bars, restaurants and cafes adapted to offer a takeaway or delivery service, this resulted in people congregating in groups either as they queued to get takeaway food or drink, or as they consumed their food or drink in outdoor seating areas ignoring social distancing guidelines.

Food delivery and takeaway services can remain open which means customers and delivery drivers can continue to enter the premises. But the businesses must ensure that:

  • People do not consume food or drinks on site whilst waiting for takeaway food
  • Outside seating is not used
  • There is a distance of two metres between customers and shop assistants
  • People enter the premises only in small groups, to ensure that spaces are not crowded.
  • Any queues are managed to adhere to social distancing rules
  • They do not sell alcohol unless their existing premises licence allows off premises sales.

SKDC’s Environmental Health team is now working with Trading Standards to enforce the new regulations whilst also offering guidance to local food takeaway and delivery services, some of which have evolved as restaurants, pubs and cafes seek new ways of working.

The Council is clear that whilst it will support and guide food and takeaway services that are allowed to remain open under the latest Government guidelines it will act if those businesses do not adhere to the new regulations, which could result in prosecution and or fines.

“We are absolutely committed to supporting our businesses as they adapt to this unprecedented public health crisis, but it is vital that we all work together in the best interests of protecting public health as well as supporting our local economy – it is the right and responsible thing to do,” said SKDC Leader, Cllr Kelham Cooke.

“We are issuing guidance to our food and drink businesses to help them protect the health of their staff and of their customers as they change how they work. But we will crack down on businesses who do not operate within the new regulations.”