Licensing officers’ issue advice ahead of this summer’s UEFA European Football Championship
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With the rescheduled 2020 UEFA European Football Championship just around the corner, licensing officers in Northamptonshire have issued advice to local premises planning to show televised matches.
The tournament was postponed last summer as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and will be played across Europe, using 11 different venues culminating with the final on July 11 at Wembley.
However, although matches are expected to be played in front of reduced capacity in the stadiums, most of the group stage games will take place under the guidance of the UK’s Government road map out of lockdown.
The Euros start on June 11 when the UK is expected to be in the final step of the road map, which means licensed premises will be able to serve food and drink at tables indoors. However, the rule of six will still apply.
Officers from Northamptonshire Police will continue to undertake Covid-19 patrols, including visiting licensed premises, to ensure businesses and members of public are taking all the required steps to protect themselves and others from the virus.
However, to support licensed premises adhere to the current Covid-19 regulations and as we work towards all restrictions being lifted completed on June 21, licensing officers have issued the following advice:
• Consider contacting the police and/or your licensing officer to let them know in advance of your plans for showing Euro 2020 matches where there could be implications relating to crime & disorder and/or public safety. That way they can incorporate these plans into any actions they may be taking
• Check your screening apparatus such as televising aerials, connections well in advance of showing any matches to prevent disappointment and potential disruption to games
• Make sure the Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) is on duty if possible. If not, a duty manager should be available to oversee the event
• Ensure enough staff numbers are in place to cope with the anticipated number of customers and are fully briefed regarding the law relating to the sale of alcohol, particularly underage and those who are heavily intoxicated
• Consider use of plastic drinkware such as polycarbonate if necessary, particularly for use in outside areas. Instruct staff to carry out regular glass collections. This also aids regular supervision by your staff of all areas, not just those in sight of the bar area
• Think carefully about where television screens are situated to avoid potential congestion. For similar reasons it is advisable, as far as possible, to prevent screens being viewed from outside the premises
• If you have CCTV, ensure it is fully operational with all cameras recording. It would be advisable as good practice that a staff member able to operate the CCTV system is available
• Be sure to monitor and control smoking areas where appropriate, especially at half-time and at the end of the match
• Make sure there is no excessive consumption of alcohol - remember it is an offence to continue to serve somebody who has had too much to drink. Consider food and soft drink offers if you feel it appropriate
• Be vigilant to the early signs of tension or trouble between customers and either take steps to safely intervene to prevent escalation, instruct door staff to intervene if on duty or, if necessary, call the police
Licensing Sergeant Simon Moreton said: “The 2020 UEFA European Championship is a major opportunity to attract customers who want to watch live international football in the great atmosphere which pubs provide.
“However, earlier matches in the tournament will take place while Covid-19 restrictions are likely to remain in place, so we need businesses to be taking care to make sure these are being followed. Even in normal circumstances, these events can carry with them greater risks to your business, your staff, customers and the local community if they are not properly risk assessed and managed.
“By keeping up to date with the Government’s Covid-19 guidance and following the ten points listed above, you will be doing your utmost to minimise any risk to health, and any disruption and disorder. It is also worth mentioning how important it is to ensure your premises are appropriately licensed to televise the matches.”
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Community Protection Manager Scott Richards is also asking licensees to review their fire safety risk assessments before the tournament kicks-off.
Scott said: “Prior to the tournament starting, we would urge licenced businesses to review their Fire Safety Risk Assessments and prepare in advance to ensure they adhere to their legal requirements when it comes to fire safety.
“Identify any new hazards, who they may affect and what actions you can take to minimise the risk. Determine the maximum venue capacity, check your fire safety systems are working and any equipment you are using has been maintained and serviced appropriately as well as ensure any new staff have been trained in your emergency procedures.
“We work closely with businesses across the county offering guidance and support to help ensure they are safe and comply with legal requirements. Any business who would like to speak with us directly can do so by visiting our website or emailing us at [email protected]”