rating button
Licensing | Birmingham City Council

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

National lockdown: Stay at Home Check out our coronavirus updates and advice.


In light of recent events with regards to COVID-19, our offices are temporarily closed and all licensing staff are currently working from home. Officers are available by email only.

We are aware that this will have an impact on the service that we can provide within Licensing, and appreciate how frustrating this will be.

At this time we are only able to accept applications made via the GOV.UK website (where applicable) or via email at licensing@birmingham.gov.uk. We will aim to respond to your email as soon as we can.

Please note as a temporary interim measure all licensing service updates will be posted on the Taxi and private hire bulletin.

We are working hard to keep the disruption to a minimum, and kindly ask for your patience.

Re-opening of licensed premises

Following Government guidance that non-essential shops can reopen from 15 June, it was announced on 23 June 2020 that certain licensed and similar premises can reopen from 4 July 2020.

It remains difficult to answer questions in a single document about what individual premises will have to do to be able to reopen their doors. We have worked with West Midlands Police to prepare a joint briefing note with supporting information, which is additional to government guidance and should not be deemed a substitute.

Download the joint briefing note and FAQs

Below is a short summary of advice we can offer to licence holders planning to reopen:

  • Read your licence:
    • Check what it permits and what it prohibits (For example – does it permit off sales? Is there a condition preventing patrons leaving the licensed area with open drinks containers?)
    • Does it contain any licence condition that would prevent you from opening in the way you had envisaged?
  • Are your premises in an area subject to a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO)
    • If so, does that PSPO restrict the consumption of alcohol?
  • Do you have sufficient arrangements in place for cleaning, hand washing and toilet facilities?
  • How will you securely record the personal details of customers to assist with the NHS ‘Test and Trace’ service? - You should assist this service by keeping a temporary record of your customers and visitors for 21 days, in a way that is manageable for your business, and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed.
  • What will you do if it rains? (Government guidance now suggests you should make it clear to customers, they will not be permitted inside in inclement weather)
  • Will your plans impact on neighbouring businesses and residents? (For example, socially distanced queuing on public highway)
  • Do you need to make any changes to your licence or submit a Temporary Event Notice?
  • Have you carried out a COVID-19 Risk Assessment?
  • Can you accommodate social distancing of 2m? If 2m is not viable, what risk mitigations will you put in place? This needs to be in your risk assessment. (You still must ensure a minimum of 1m even with risk mitigation.)