Licensed premises re-opening checklist

This checklist and guidance are provided to assist you in preparing for the re-opening of your licensed premises and ensuring all your documents are in order. It prompts you to consider your staff, your proposals and policies. 

Is the current Designated Premises Supervisor named on your premises licence still working at the premises?

Has there been a change to the premises licence holder or their registered address?

Is the Premises Licence Summary on display? Is the full licence available for inspection?

Is your premises licence fit for purpose in the new circumstances? Do you need to vary your hours of operation?

Review licence conditions - ensure compliant and consider whether anything needs amending – e.g. use of outside space, licensing of external dispense bars, off sales, last entry, door staff , relaxation of delivery and collections to reduce interaction between customers/staff and visitors, opening new access points to regulate entry/flow of visitors and customers, ability to keep windows and doors open (except fire doors) to assist ventilation. You should discuss with East Suffolk’s Licensing Team whether your requirements can be dealt with by way of a ‘minor’ variation application and with our Planning Team to ensure there are no restrictions.

Has the Premises Licence annual fee been paid?  If a suspension notice is in force you will need to arrange payment before you re-open.

Has the gaming permit annual fee been paid?  If it has not then the permit will have lapsed and you will need to apply for a new one.

Notifications (automatic entitlements to 2 gaming machines) – if the premises licence has been transferred then you need to apply for a new notification.

If you are adding a food offer consider if you need late night refreshment if trading beyond 11pm. If you make significant changes in food service activities you must let the Food and Safety Team know. You can do this by emailing details of the changes to

If you are a landlord and your tenant has left then carry out the necessary checks to ensure that the premises licence has not been surrendered or has lapsed.

Have building works been undertaken during the closure?  If so, is licensing consent required? Will a new plan be required?

Consider what works you wish to undertake before opening and consider whether they need permission – such as installation of barriers and screens.

Check fire risk assessment is up to date and review capacity levels within the assessment and/or premises licence conditions in light of COVID-19 regulations.

Is there a clear ‘authorisation of sale’ process in place and documented along with up to date staff training records?

Consider your neighbours: when you are opening your doors and windows to increase ventilation, remember that this will have the effect of allowing sound to escape. You will need to reduce the volume of any background music to avoid causing nuisance to people in the vicinity.

Consider liaising with neighbours and resident associations; it is likely that the ambient noise levels will increase, and residents may become sensitive to noise issues. Walk around the perimeter of you premises and check for yourself. Remember, you still have an obligation to undertake your business in a way which does not cause nuisance to neighbouring occupiers. The legal controls which apply to ‘statutory nuisance’ remain in force, irrespective of the revisions to licensing guidance.

Look at policies in light of COVID 19 - such as admission and dispersal, searching, drugs, toilet checks and cleaning protocols, security, avoiding overcrowding of areas used regularly like corridors and toilets and other confined spaces, controlling queues and ensuring markers are in place or other measures to comply with social distancing.  

Ensure you have permission to use outside space which may be owned by your landlord or town/parish council.

Pre-opening licence health check and risk assessment to comply with COVID-19 regulations  and signage requirements – including social distancing guidelines; hygiene information; entry and exit routes; pick up and drop off point instructions; customer instructions upon service and payment process.

Ensure that you have sufficient staff to monitor and manage drinking in any beer gardens/outside areas. Glassware and rubbish should not be allowed to build up and staff should ensure that all licensing conditions are being followed and the licensing objectives are being supported in those outside areas.

Beer gardens/outside areas: although easier to manage if a large outdoor area, there is a danger of groups forming. Consider as part of your risk assessment.

Do you require a Pavement Licence? Pavement Licences will be considered where there is deemed to be sufficient room, and where any tables and chairs will not cause an obstruction on the pavement.

Advice and Enquiries

Contact our Licensing Team

Contact our Environmental Protection Team or Food and safety Team

Government guidance on working safely during Coronavirus: