COVID Pass information for businesses
Issued by Folkestone & Hythe District Council Licensing Team – Friday 17th December 2021
Dear licence holder,
As I am sure you’re aware, new restrictions have been announced by the Government for venues that meet certain criteria. These restrictions are mandatory and must be followed by qualifying premises.
I have outlined below the criteria for qualifying premises, however, even if you are usually closed by 01:00 you will need to consider the regulations if you plan to open after 01:00 for occasional events such as New Year’s Eve or a birthday party.
If you do not plan to open after 01:00 or you will open after 01:00 but all customers will be seated then you do not need to take any action under the current Regulations.
The regulations apply to premises that are:
- Nightclubs, dancehalls and discotheques
- Or any premises that is open at any point between 01:00 and 05:00, serves alcohol after 01:00 and provides music, whether live or recorded, for dancing
As a responsible person, you must produce, and keep up to date, a statement setting out the measures you will introduce to ensure that you are meeting the requirements of carrying out mandatory COVID-19 status checks, and that you are making the public aware of these measures. Please send this statement to the Licensing Team so that we can check your procedures in advance.
The regulations state you must:
- Take reasonable steps to make sure that all visitors aged 18 or above show an NHS COVID Pass, or approved proof of vaccination, testing, or an exemption, to enter the venue or event. Evidence of natural immunity must not be accepted as an alternative to proof of vaccination or testing.
- You should check for proof of COVID-19 status through use of the free NHS COVID Pass Verifier App wherever possible to ensure passes are valid and have not expired and reduce the possibility of fraud. (Note that you will have obligations as a data controller under data protection legislation)
- Anyone not using the NHS Covid Pass must show proof of a negative PCR test or negative rapid lateral flow test taken within the past 48 hours must have reported their test result to NHS Test and Trace. They will then have received a text or email notification which should be checked as a condition of entry.
You must retain records containing the following information on implementing the requirements of carrying out mandatory COVID-19 status checks:
- The date of the event, or the date the records refer to for a venue
- The number of people that attended the venue or event
- Where you have departed from your general policy statement of measures to meet certification requirements: the reasons for adopting different measures, what measures were adopted
- How an individual’s eligibility to enter the venue was checked
- The number of occasions on which the reasonable measures you were taking to check COVID-19 status of attendees were varied from 100% checks by agreement with the local authority, and the number of people who were admitted on each such occasion
- The number of occasions on which people were admitted to avoid injury or harm
- You must maintain these records for 3 months from the date of the event or, for a venue, 3 months from the date to which the records refer. You must retain records of your general policy statement of measures to meet certification requirements for as long as the legislation on mandatory certification applies, and a further 3 months after it ceases to apply. Local authorities have powers to request these records or policy statements within 3 working days or as part of an inspection.
- You must not retain information from within the NHS COVID Pass, such as an individual’s name or COVID-19 status for members of the public who attend your venue or event.
- If you are responsible for a venue or event that requires mandatory COVID-19 status checks as a condition of entry, data protection legislation will apply when you are processing personal data.
- If you do not comply with your legal obligations in relation to carrying out mandatory COVID-19 status checks at your venue or event, local authorities can take enforcement action, including prosecution or issue of a fixed penalty notice (FPN).
The Licensing Team will be out visiting premises to offer advice and assistance, however please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
Please find more detailed and up-to-date information on the Government website: