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Monday, 29 June 2020

Licensing the Lockdown Easing

The great opening of bars and restaurants is supposedly well under way, although I suspect will take many businesses much more than a week to get their outlets into shape.

Firstly, they will need to configure with 1metre social distancing in mind. Staff will need to be trained in what the rules are possibly on how to deal with "difficult" customers.

Secondly, they will need to get suitable PPE, plastic screens, extra cleaning products and whatever else is needed.

Thirdly, I dare say that many places will to stock up on food and drink and make sure they have regular supplies.

All that may well take longer than a week.

A second question occurs to me, which is who will police all this?  Is it the local authority, the police or the pubs themselves?  Does whoever it is have the staff and money needed?  Are the powers already included in legislation already passed or does something new have to be passed?

Finally, how does the conflict between the need of an outlet and other objectives get resolved?  For stance, in Brent pavements are often narrow and generally owned by the Council.  How does the Council resolve the ambitious targets to increase walking with the possibility of the streets being cluttered with al fresco dining?  Does the cafe have to pay for the use of the highway beyond its own forecourt.  If the restaurants want to vary their operating times from previous ones is the local authority geared to cope with the new applications?

I wish I had confidence that ministers had thought about all this but I suspect they have not.

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