Licensing services

There will be significant changes to our Licensing services due to the public health crisis.

Speech bubble update

General

1. Due to the unprecedented Covid-19 public health crisis, the office is currently closed and Licensing Staff are working from home. All applications should now be submitted electronically.

Any applications that have been submitted to date in hard copy will take longer to process and you are now requested to submit applications online to licensing@dumgal.gov.uk

2. We would ask customers to only submit essential applications/paperwork. Applications should be submitted electronically by email to licensing@dumgal.gov.uk

You can find electronic copies of our applications elsewhere on this website.

Please ensure that your application is signed before it is scanned onto computer. If you do not have scanned/electronic copies of documents, please arrange to email photographs of documentation (images must be clear and legible).

Once your application has been received and accepted as final, you will be contacted for payment by debit or credit card. The payment will be arranged over the phone - you cannot go to Council offices to pay by cash and you cannot post the Application with a cheque.

If you are applying for a taxi or private hire driver's licence, as detailed within the application you are required to provide documentation to satisfy the Licensing Authority of your right to work status. The Licensing Team will contact you further in this respect.

Please be aware that, during these exceptional times, it is likely that it will take some time to review and process your application and allocate it to a Hearing (where relevant). You will be fully informed as to the progress of your application.

3. All scheduled Licensing Board and Licensing Panel meetings have been postponed until further notice though we still aim to hold hearings within statutory timescales. If you were scheduled to attend, you will be contacted to confirm future arrangements.

4. All licences and registrations due to expire on or before 31 May 2020, will automatically be extended by a period of 3 months. You will be permitted to continue with your licensed or registered activities over the extended period, subject to Government guidance in relation to Covid-19.

Applications for renewal of a licence will not be accepted until June 2020 at the earliest. We will continue to review this position and may apply a further extension to licences if necessary. The guidance will continue to be updated.

5. If you have a scheduled taxi/private hire vehicle inspection, you should not attend as the inspection centre is now closed. All taxi and private hire vehicles due to be presented for testing prior to 31 May 2020, have been extended by a period of 3 months.

As the safety of the public is of paramount importance kindly ensure that your vehicle is maintained to a standard which will ensure that the vehicle, bearing in mind that it will record a high mileage, will remain in a roadworthy and safe condition until its next test.

The operator will inspect or arrange for the vehicle to be inspected on his or her behalf at least once a week and keep a record of any defects found and action taken to remedy them.


Liquor Licensing

6. Food/alcohol takeaway and delivery services

The Licensing Board will permit licensed premises to provide food/alcohol take aways /and deliveries for a 3 month period to end of June 2020 even though food and alcohol deliveries are not permitted via the Operating Plan. This permission is for those premises that already have an off sales function and takes immediate effect.. You do not need to contact us to confirm this in advance

Please note that alcohol deliveries must comply with the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 (specifically Sections 119 and 120).

If premises wish these arrangements to continue after the Coronavirus Pandemic, please contact the Licensing Board at this stage to discuss submission of a major variation application to amend the operating plan to allow this.

7. If you wish to sell alcohol off sales and your current presmises licence does not allow this

To assist local businesses, all four Divisional Licensing Boards throughout Dumfries and Galloway have agreed that applications requesting alcohol Off Sales may now be submitted via a Minor Variation application to licensing@dumgal.gov.uk for a temporary period until pub lockdown is lifted.

Applications may be found on the licensing webpage and the statutory fee is £20.

Once an application is submitted, the Board will consult with Police and, if the Police do not object to consent being given, permission will be given to sell alcohol on an off sales basis seven days per week 10am to 10pm throughout the period of pub lockdown.

If consent is given then :

  • In terms of the law, you will require to take all reasonable measures to ensure that social distancing measures are put in place and you will be notified of these specific legal obligations;
  • No consumption of alcohol is permitted on the premises under any circumstance;
  • Alcohol must be taken off the premises in a sealed container and
  • Police will be notified of this temporary arrangement in relation to each specific premises.

When pub lockdown is lifted the Board will require submission of a Major Variation application to enable alcohol to be sold on an off sales basis.

8. Personal Licences

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

We will continue to review this position and may apply a further extension if necessary. The guidance will continue to be updated.

9. If you are a premises licence holder and you pay your annual fees by direct debit, the Licensing Board is offering you the opportunity to take an instalment "holiday". The outstanding balance of your 2019/20 annual fee will require to be paid in full by 30 September 2020. Please send an email to licensing@dumgal.gov.uk if you wish to take advantage of this.


Cancelled Events

10. If you have lodged an application for either an Occasional Licence or a Public Entertainment Licence application which have not yet been granted and you wish to cancel or reschedule your event to a future date, please email licensing@dumgal.gov.uk to confirm the new details. You will not be charged for any amendment.


The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Regulations 2020

11. These Regulations came into force Thursday 26th March 2020 and are now Law. They last for a maximum of six months and Scottish Ministers must review the need for restrictions imposed by them at least once every 21 days.

A general outline of these Regulations (for advisory purposes only) and relevant to Licensing, is as follows:

With regard to liquor licensed premises, the restrictions generally are as follows:

  • Restaurants (including restaurants and dining rooms in hotels or members' clubs) and cafes:
    • Must close for the sale of food and drink on the premises.
    • May remain open for takeaways, deliveries and pick ups in person of food and drink(following online/phone orders).
  • Bars (including bars in hotels or members' clubs):
    • Must close for the sale of food and drink on the premises.
    • May remain open for takeaways, deliveries and pick ups in person of food and drink (following online/phone orders) as above.
  • Members' Clubs:
    • Members' Clubs must close like bars though they may undertake deliveries/take aways/pick ups of food and drink in the same manner as bars.
  • Hotels and accommodation premises:
    • The bar/dining room/restaurant must close for sale of food and drink on the premises (unless they are offering room service) but off sales/takeaways/deliveries/pick ups in person are permitted via online/phone orders.
    • With regard to the provision of accommodation, these premises must close subject to some statutory exceptions included below.
      • Accommodation may be provided for any person who):
      1. Is unable to return to their main residence;
      2. Uses that accommodation as their main residence;
      3. Needs accommodation while moving house;
      4. Needs accommodation to attend a funeral;
      5. To provide accommodation or support services for the homeless;
      6. To host blood donation sessions or
      7. For any purpose requested by the Scottish Ministers or a local authority.
    • Scottish Government Guidance also advises the following who may be accommodated in hotels:
      • Non UK residents who are unable to travel to their country of residence during the Coronavirus period  may continue to stay in hotels or similar where required;
      • Vulnerable people may be accommodates such as those who cannot safety stay in their home through arrangements with local authorities and other public bodies
  • Nightclubs:
    • Must close.
  • Off Sales: (Eg: supermarkets/corner shops/breweries/petrol stations).
    • Premises licences with an off sale may remain open as long as they take reasonable steps to ensure that a two metre distance is maintained generally between people on the premises (unless those individuals are from the same household or a carer and the person who is being assisted by the carer); all reasonable measures are undertaken to ensure that a two meter distance is maintained between persons waiting to enter the premises and that they take all reasonable measures to generally ensure that they admit people to their premises in sufficiently small numbers to make it possible to maintain that two metre distance.
  • Gambling:
    • Betting shops/bingo halls/amusement arcades must close


There is a general exception that if premises are deemed suitable they may open for blood donation sessions.

  • Other Premises
    • The following list of premises MUST CLOSE  (exception: they may remain open to host blood donation sessions if deemed suitable for this purpose):
      • Cinemas/Theatres/Concert Halls: (exception:  these premises may broadcast a performance to people outside the premises via internet or radio/television broadcast).
      • Nail, beauty, hair salons and barbers:
      • Tattoo and piercing parlours:
      • Spas:
      • Massage parlours:
      • Indoor fitness studios, gyms, swimming pools, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, soft play areas or other indoor leisure centres or facilities:
      • Funfairs (indoors or outdoors):
      • Sport courts:
  • Public Processions:
    • As gatherings in a public place of more than two people is unlawful (subject to certain statutory exceptions including members of the same household and to attend a funeral), the holding of a public procession breaches the Regulations and therefore must not take place.
  • Market Operators:
    • Outdoor markets must close except for stalls selling food (outdoor markets can therefore continue to trade for stalls that sell groceries and food only)
  • The following premises MAY STAY OPEN but must take all reasonable measures the same as Off Sales (stated above):
    • Taxi or vehicle hire businesses (Note: taxi and private hire cars may therefore continue to operate)
    • Late Hours Catering premises
    • Street Traders for the sale of food


Enforcement

In terms of the Regulations, breach will give rise to a Police fine but Dumfries and Galloway Licensing Boards will initiate Review Proceedings against Businesses that breach these Regulations with the ultimate sanction loss of licence.


Further information

If you have a query pertaining to the above or are unsure as to whether your licensed premises/activity may remain open , please contact us by email at licensing@dumgal.gov.uk