Find out changes to our services and advice in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus: Licenses and permits

Advice and guidance for current licence holders and new applicants on changes to our Licensing service

This guidance is for current licence holders and anyone planning to apply for a new licence. It explains the changes we are making to our Licensing services to help minimise the disruption caused to licence holders by Covid-19.

Everyone has a role to play in limiting the spread of Covid-19. Licence holders, including taxi and private hire car drivers, are reminded to follow Government advice including advice on isolation if you have symptoms.

General Guidelines on Changes to our Licensing Service

Committee and Board Meetings

All planned meetings of the Licensing Committee and the Licensing Board have been postponed. If you are scheduled to attend a future meeting, please do not attend.

We will contact you directly about alternative arrangements - where possible decisions will be taken without the need for you to attend a meeting. Should you have to contact the Committee or Board in regard to a meeting please do so by email

Licensing Committee contact address - civiclicensing@pkc.gov.uk

Licensing Board contact address - liquorlicensing@pkc.gov.uk

Submitting Applications

You should expect most applications to take much longer to deal with than normal and we will priorities applications that are urgent or time sensitive.

Guidance for Existing Licence Holders including HMO Licence Holders

If Your Licence is Due to Expire

All licences due to expire on or before 31 May 2020 will automatically be extended by a period of 3 months. This extension has been granted to give you more time to renew your licence, because of the coronavirus pandemic. We believe that this should allow you sufficient extra time so that your licence does not lapse because of any difficulties you might have submitting your renewal paperwork because of coronavirus. You will be licensed to continue to trade over the extended period subject to Government guidance on Covid-19.  Please ensure that you submit your renewal application 7 days prior to the extended 3 month period of your licence. See below dates for submission of your renewals.

The above is subject to change due to ongoing Covid-19 response and associated guidance issued by Scottish Government.

Current Expiry Date         

Extended Expiry Date    Submit Renewal no later than    

31 March 2020
30 April 2020
31 May 2020

30 June 2020                    24 June 2020
31 July 2020                     25 July 2020
31 August 2020                25 August 2020

Personal Licence Holder - Training

Personal Licence holders are required to undergo refresher training every five years and to provide a copy of their training certificate to the Licensing Board.

If you are unable to take a refresher training course as a result of:

  • no courses running because of Covid-19;
  • you or a family member have Covid-19 and you are self-isolating; or
  • you are worried about attending a course because of Covid-19

please be assured that your Personal Licence will remain in effect.

You will be given an automatic three month extension on the timescales to undertake your training and to submit your training certificate. (For the avoidance of doubt the 3 month extension period would commence from the final date that the proof of training was due to be submitted to the Licensing Board e.g. if the certificate was due to be provided 31 March 2020, you will have until 30 June 2020).

If you need to submit your training certificate, please email this to the Licensing Department at liquorlicensing@pkc.gov.uk

Premises Licence

Operating Plans

On sales should not be taking place due to the lockdown conditions. The only permitted sales are off sales and these should be only by delivery. You may not sell food or drink to persons for consumption on the premises and this includes beer gardens and other outdoor seating areas.

If food is sold on the premises, but the operating plan contained in the licence for the premises does not contain an express term to allow food to be taken away, or delivered, from the premises for consumption off the premises, a term to that effect will be implied into the operating plan while lockdown is in place. 

Should the business wish to continue providing this service in the long term (i.e. after lockdown finishes), an application for a major variation to the premises licence would be needed.

Closure

At the moment, licensed premise are closed due to the lockdown. Normally, if a premises ceases to be used for the sale of alcohol then the premises licence will cease to have effect.

The Scottish Government have agreed, through legislation, that if the premises ceases to be used for the sale of alcohol for a temporary period for a reason relating to COVID-19, that a premises licence will not cease to have effect.

Transfer

A person other than the licence holder can apply for a transfer of a premises licence under s.34 of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 in certain circumstances, i.e. where the premises licence holder has died, is incapacitated, insolvent or of the business has transferred. This application can usually only be made within 28 days of the event triggering the transfer. However, the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 has made provision so that if a person is unable to apply to the Board within the 28 day period for a reason related to COVID-19, the Board may accept an application after the usual 28 days.

Provisional Licences

Holders of provisional premises licences may apply to the Licensing Board for an extension of the duration of the provisional premises licence for six months. The Board must grant a first extension of six months only if the Board is satisfied that:

  • the construction or conversion of the premises has been delayed and that this has been caused by factors outwith the premises licence holder's control
  • the reason for the delay is a reason related to COVID-19

Deadlines

The deadline for notification to the Board of any of the following events has been extended from the usual 7 days, to 28 days notice. These events are:

  • where the premises manager no longer works at the premises
  • if the premises manager becomes incapable for any reason
  • if the premises manager dies
  • if the personal licence held by the premises manager is revoked or suspended

Minor Variations

Following on from notification, the deadline to submit a minor variation to substitute a new premises manager is extended from 6 weeks from the event to 3 months. The Board also has flexibility if there is a request from an applicant, due to a reason related to COVID-19, to extend that period if necessary.

Guidance for Public Entertainment Licence Holders

Rescheduled Events

If you have already lodged a Public Entertainment Licence and wish to re-schedule your event to another date(s), please email civiclicensing@pkc.gov.uk with the heading Public Entertainment Licence - (name of event).

If you do wish to have your event on another date you will not be charged for the change of date. The Licensing Department will require from you updated permission to use the land for the new dates,to date Public Liability Insurance and you may be required to display a site notice with the new dates. PLEASE INFORM US IF YOU WISH TO CANCEL YOUR EVENT OR POSTPONE YOUR EVENT AND NO DATE IS SET YET at civiclicensing@pkc.gov.uk

Occasional Licences

If your event has been cancelled please notify the Licensing Department at liquorlicensing@pkc.gov.uk. We ask that you re-apply once you have an anticipated date for your event. Please ensure to follow up to date guidance issued by the Government for events before you apply.

Guidance for Taxi and Private Hire Operators and Drivers

Vehicle Inspections

As Friarton Testing Station is currently closed and in line with current Government Guidance, all MOT's due from the 30th March 2020 have been extended by 6 months, providing your vehicle is roadworthy. If the vehicle becomes unroadworthy then the Licensing Department should be notified immediately by emailing civiclicensing@pkc.gov.uk

If your vehicle has notbeen tested at Friarton prior to the expiry date of the 6 months extension period then you will be required to MOT your vehicle and send a copy of your new MOT certificate to the Licensing Department by email to civiclicensing@pkc.gov.uk or by emailing it to the Licensing Department, Pullar House, 35 Kinnoull Street, Perth, PH1 5GD.

Vehicle Inspection information is subject to change due to ongoing Covid-19 response and associated guidance issued by Scottish Government or when Friarton Depot re-opens for testing.

Licence holders are reminded to keep up to date by frequently checking this guidance, as it is anticipated further amendments may be released

Useful link regarding MOT's

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-mots-for-cars-vans-and-motorcycles-due-from-30-march-2020

Installing temporary protective screens in taxis and private hire vehicles

We are working with taxi and private hire car drivers and operators to enable them to work and transport passengers as safely as possible throughout the coronavirus outbreak.

This is a new development and this guidance will have to be reviewed with any guidance issued by the Scottish Government to ensure compliance and compatibility with any that guidance.

Installing your temporary protective screen - what you must do

While you are allowed to install a temporary protective screen in your car (in-between the rear passenger compartment and the driver) you must ensure that the protective screen must meet all the points listed within the checklist. If you cannot meet all the requirements within the checklist then you cannot fit a screen to your vehicle.

CHECKLIST             

and include the following

  • confirmation from your insurance company that your insurance is still valid with this screen
  • your agreement to remove the protective screen in less than 21 days after the current social distancing restrictions relating to COVID-19 have been removed and inform the Licensing Department in writing/email that you have removed the screen.
  • The film/sheet used must be clear and transparent and can only be fitted behind both front seats, creating a partition between the front and back area of the vehicle.
  • not be permanently installed in the vehicle.
  • not have a solid frame to the screen.
  • must be secured with fittings which allow for easy removal once no longer required e.g. Velcro, adhesive or other ties.
  • Easy removal is required both for emergencies and for when no longer required.
  • be fitted in such a way so as not to affect the structural integrity of the vehicle or interfere with any manufacturer fitted safety equipment e.g. air bags.
  • not wrap around the driver seat and create a partition between the two front seats, in addition to the rear cabin area.
  • A small payment hatch to be included (trimmed in rubber)

 

                                                                                                                        

The completed checklist must be emailed to civiclicensing@pkc.gov.uk or alternatively printed off and posted to Licensing Department, Pullar House, 35 Kinnoull Street, Perth, PH1 5GD.

General advice

Drivers that continue to work should follow the health advice on the Government website:

https://www.gov.scot/?utm_source=www2.gov.scot&utm_medium=banner&utm_content=notificartion-banner-text-button&utm_campaign=www2

Please ensure that all drivers follow the Government issued advice and take simple and sensible steps at all times including encouraging drivers to:

  • Always carry tissues and use them to catch coughs and sneezes
  • Dispose of used tissues in the bin as soon as possible
  • Wash hands with soap and water, or use sanitiser gel, to kill germs
  • Clean surfaces regularly with sanitising wipes or spray to get rid of germs

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings

If drivers are worried about Covid-19 symptoms, they should follow NHS guidance: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/  

Medicals

We are aware that drivers will not be able to get a medical at present as the surgery has cancelled non-urgent appoints. At this point, there has been no official advice from the government in relation to arrangements for medical tests for professional drivers. Therefore, the position will be as follows: -

  1. New applicants with a medical issue or who are over 65 will not be able to have their licence granted until they have undergone the usual medical examination. We understand that this causes difficulty, but it is necessary to ensure that drivers are medically fit, on public safety grounds
  2. Existing drivers with pre-existing health conditions will be dealt with on a case-to-case basis and they should notify us immediately as per conditions of your licence (civiclicensing@pkc.gov.uk)

SORN of Taxi/Private Hire

Should you wish to SORN your taxi/private hire then your licence would be temporarily suspended and you must remove the plates from the vehicle. If you have a school contract, then you must inform the Public Transport Unit immediately that the vehicle is currently off the road. When the vehicle has been taxed and the SORN lifted then you should contact the Licensing Department to inform them of this (civiclicensing@pkc.gov.uk), provide a copy of the insurance, up to date MOT Certificate/Certificate of Fitness and arrangements will be made to return your plates.

Transport Transition Plan

https://www.transport.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/transport-transition-plan/advice-on-how-to-travel-safely/#section-63887

https://www.transport.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/transport-transition-plan/

Face to Face Appointments

We are not currently offering appointments at 2 High Street or Pullar House.

Committee and Board Meetings

All planned meetings of the Licensing Committee and the Licensing Board have been postponed. If you are scheduled to attend a future meeting, please do not attend. We will contact you directly about alternative arrangements - where possible decisions may be taken without the need for a meeting.

Knowledge Test

All Knowledge Tests for new applicants have been postponed. The Licensing Department will contact you as soon as possible to re-arrange the Knowledge Test.