Finla Coffee, lockout and fines: rules for coffee shops after Plympton Cafe controversy

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After Plympton Café Finla Coffee breached lockdown restrictions last week, hospitality rules were laid out by Plymouth business leaders.Plymouth City Center Company admitted that business foreclosure rules could have been clarified after Finla Coffee was criticized last week for breaking foreclosure rules and continuing to serve customers inside and outside the site.

Under lockdown restrictions introduced on Thursday, November 5, the government says hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs must remain closed for four weeks, except for the provision of food. and drinks to go (before 10 pm; and not including alcohol), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery ”.

By staying open and inviting customers to eat on site, Finla Coffee has “broken” the rules, Plymouth City Council said last week, and has been ordered to stop allowing patrons to dine or eat. sit outside the premises.

The cafe was also fined £ 3,000.

Now the Plymouth City Center Company, which oversees the downtown Business Improvement District (BID), has written to hundreds of businesses reminding them of the business rules during the second lockdown and that food and non-alcoholic beverages are not must be provided to take away.

He sought to clarify the position after being approached by companies asking for advice and even admitted that “the initial general guidance, released in the first week of November, was” perhaps not so clear. ”

His email to members said: “We know that some companies have been in contact with the Plymouth City Council Public Protection Department to seek clarification on issues such as outside seating and what companies can do. and can not do as part of the second lock.

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“Hospitality premises such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs that serve food for consumption on their premises, including outdoor seating, should stop this service and offer only food. to take away.

“This is spelled out very clearly in the legislation behind the two lockdowns, although it may not be as clear in the initial general guidance that was released last week.”

So here are the rules according to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulation 2020 (No.4) which came into effect on November 5.

What companies can do

Between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m.

• Food and non-alcoholic beverages can be provided to take out only. This means that customers can enter the premises to place and collect their order for take out only.

• Food and non-alcoholic beverages may also be sold on delivery when pre-ordered online, by phone or mail, and via click and collect; and cross.

Between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

• Food and beverages may be sold on delivery when pre-ordered online, by phone or mail, and via click and collect; and drive only.

• Pick-up and delivery services can only work when products are pre-ordered by phone, online, via mobile app or by mail and collected without customers entering the premises.

• A late night refreshment venue license is required for the sale of hot food and beverages after 11:00 pm.

Alcoholic drinks at any time:

• Alcohol may be provided take out only for consumption off premises for delivery, click and collect and drive through

• As above, this means that it must be pre-ordered (by phone, online, via a mobile app or by mail) and must be removed without customers entering the premises.

• A premises license is required for the sale of alcohol

General requirements

• Hospitality venues providing food and drink for consumption off the premises are not permitted to allow customers to consume food or drink in an open-air cafe or similar seating or from any seat. adjacent to the premises. For example, the headquarters for which they are responsible / control

• Room service in hotels and other accommodation remains permitted as long as it is ordered by phone or online

• Take-out food and beverages must be provided in sealed containers. (Tips on changing your business model for online selling or food delivery can be found here)

To learn more about the current restrictions, check out the Gov.uk website, and for more details on Covid-19 support available to businesses, visit the Invest Plymouth website.

What fines can businesses face?

If a business violates Covid restrictions, businesses can face fines of up to £ 10,000.

An establishment may face a fixed penalty notice of £ 1,000 for the first offense.

The fine for a second violation is £ 2,000, a third violation is £ 4,000 and a fourth, and any subsequent violation is £ 10,000.

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