City Corporation steps up enforcement as COVID-19 cases surge across London

Square Mile pubs are being told they will face heavy fines if they continue to offer a ‘takeaway alcohol’ service following new restrictions coming into force earlier this week.

The warning by the City of London Corporation, which governs the Square Mile, comes as its Licensing and Environmental Health Officers step up visits to food businesses and hospitality venues to check they are following the latest COVID-secure legislation and guidance and ensure groups do not gather outside such venues.

Those premises flouting the rules will be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notices of up to £4,000.

The National Lockdown bans food businesses and hospitality venues from offering takeaway alcoholic drinks, however all food and non-alcoholic drinks can continue to be delivered and food can be provided for takeaway.

The City Corporation continues to encourage Square Mile residents and workers to remember ‘Hands, Face, Space’: wash your hands, wear a mask, and practice social distancing.

City of London Corporation Licensing Committee Chairman Sophie Fernandes said:

“Any venue offering alcohol to takeaway will be fined as per the legislation. Premises need to adhere to the law.

“Establishments should act responsibly. I want to do everything I can to ensure hospitality businesses have a future, and I urge the Government to publish a timetable for an exit from this situation.”

The action follows months of dialogue between City Corporation Licensing Team and Environmental Health Officers, City of London Police and bars and restaurants in the City to ensure they are COVID-secure and abiding by the appropriate regulations.

Venues will be reminded of the following National Lockdown rules:

  1. Premises must remain closed and can only offer food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm)
  2. All food and drink can continue to be provided by delivery

The police can take action against those who meet in groups, including breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fines.


Notes to Editors:

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK.

*Various fines of up to £4,000 can be issued by City of London Corporation Licensing Team and Environmental Health Officers, outlined in government legislation.