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Coronavirus Updates (Alcohol & Entertainment)

Last updated on 9 July 2020

Contact Licensing

To contact Licensing via the phone while our office is closed, please call 01744 676770.

Alternatively, you can contact us via email: general licensing email.

Please be aware the phones will be busy and we would advise you to email us. Please note that we aim to answer your email on the same working day or the next available working day.

Operational Hours

From Monday 30 March 2020, our operational hours will be 9am to 5pm. Please use our general licensing email first as we don't have as many phone lines as usual.

We can answer your queries much faster on email.

Don't forget to let us know about any problems you may be experiencing and we'll do our best to help.

Re-Opening your Business Following the COVID-19 Pandemic

If you need help or advice on the current law, please contact:

Please note that St Helens Chamber members are able to access free additional support through their membership to help with the risk assessment and other services through Quest Business Services.

All licensed premises and shops who are part of the Shopwatch Radio Network can access these same services.

Please contact St Helens Chamber directly should you wish to join them to access these services.

Please see our guidance, which contains some general and specific measures a premises should be considering while planning a future reopening.

Business Support

St Helens Borough Council recognises the valuable service businesses provide to the residents of St Helens and also understands that many businesses may look to change their current business models and diversify their normal trading during this difficult time. We will seek to support you in any way we can in order for you to keep your businesses operating.

One such way of diversifying your business would be to provide an alcohol delivery service. These are often carried out as part of the general delivery of food items.

If your business is licensed for off sales then you can provide such a delivery service.

If your business is not licensed for off sales, or even if it is not licensed for the supply of alcohol at all, you could still look to provide this service by applying for Temporary Event Notices (TENs).

Many premises that offer food are also now diversifying in order to provide food deliveries and takeaways. To do this you should register with the Planning Section and advice is also available from Environmental Health:

We are determined to communicate with our licence holders as much as possible in order to provide up-to-date advice and guidance to assist you during these challenging times. To help us to do this, if you have changed your email address or mobile number then please send us an email or call us on 01744 676770.

St Helens Borough Council also have a dedicated webpage which provides information for businesses and employers on areas such as business loans and business rates relief.

Alcohol Sales from your Premises (by way of off-sales)

A number of premises have enquired about the possibility of selling alcohol from them by way of direct off sales.

This would be permissible as long as your current licence allows for the off sales of alcohol and also that there are no specific conditions on your licence that would preclude this.

If you do wish to provide off sales you are required to follow all current social distancing regulations, in particular:

  • Maintain at least 2 metres between any customers queuing outside of the premises.
  • Clearly display social distancing notices.
  • Provide for contactless payments wherever possible.
  • Alcohol to only be sold in sealed containers.
  • Provide hand sanitiser for staff and customers and encourage that this is used.
  • Be mindful of any customers loitering around your premises once they have made their purchase.
  • Consider a 'click and collect' service to avoid any queue's forming outside of the premises.
  • You are not permitted to allow customers to enter your premises in order to purchase any alcohol.

Please see the letter we have recently sent out to premises giving some guidance on selling alcohol by way of off-sales

Alcohol Deliveries

As a response to the current situation, many premises have looked to adapt their businesses models. One such way is to provide a delivery service.

Alcohol deliveries are permitted as long as the premises licence authorises the supply for consumption OFF the premises and there are no specific conditions precluding any such deliveries.

For any alcohol deliveries you should ensure that:

  • The timings on the current premises licence are adhered to.
  • The premises licence age verification policy is strictly followed.
  • Any staff training extends to those carrying out the deliveries.

Additional measures that you are encouraged to follow include:

  • Take the full name of the person submitting the order.
  • Take their full address details.
  • Take their telephone number and/or email address.
  • Record all these records as bookings.

Also, when delivering any alcohol you should refuse any service should you suspect that:

  • The person making the purchase is doing so for a minor.
  • The person is already intoxicated.

Finally, you should check with the insurance companies that any vehicles used are sufficiently covered as it is likely that a delivery service will be viewed as business use.

We are supporting businesses that are adapting their business models to providing alcohol services by way of advertising them on our website. If you would like your premises to be included in this, then please send us an email. Please provide your name, the name and address of your premises and your preferred contact details. Please specify any timings you would be willing to offer delivery services.

We will advertise the name and address of your premises on our website along with your delivery times.

General Advice for Securing your Premises

St Helens Borough Council understands that this current period of closure is having a serious effect on licensed businesses and that is why we are offering advice on how best to secure your premises during this difficult time.

During this period of closure, it is vital that you secure your premises so the following are measures that you are encouraged to undertake:

  • Remove any stock or items of value from the premises or secure them in a safe area.
  • Ensure any alarm systems are checked and are working correctly.
  • Ensure CCTV is working and that it is timed and dated correctly - consider using a mobile phone app.
  • Consider timer switches or ensure that the premise are sufficiently well lit.
  • Make sure all shutters, doors and windows are secured.
  • Display signage that the premises has been secured and that no cash or any items of value have been left on site and that the premises CCTV remains operational.
  • Check your current insurance cover. 

Useful Links

Working Safely During COVID-19

Guidance for Restaurants, Pubs, Bars, Cafes or Takeaways

Future Innovation Fund Launched

Government Business Support

Financial Support for Businesses

Coronavirus Grant Funding

Information for those who are self-employed

Understanding how to claim Universal Credit

Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

Guidance on social distancing

Planning Information for Takeaway Services

Guidance for Convenience Stores and Other Stores

Food Delivery and Takeaway Guidance

Top-Up To Local Business Grant Fund Scheme

Future Fund Loan Scheme

Free Webinar For Keeping Safe at Work (27th May)

Online Course to Stabilise, Adapt and Sustain your Business

Help and Support if Your Business is Affected by Coronavirus