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COVID-19: Licensing Advice – Alcohol, Entertainment, Gambling and Events

As the situation with COVID-19 continues to develop, we are keeping the matter under review, following government advice, and updating our business continuity arrangements to ensure we can continue to deliver our licensing service.

Some of this information may be subject to change without notice. We will do our best to keep you informed but we appreciate your understanding and patience at this time.


In line with government advice, officers are working from home as much as possible. Our offices are closed to the public, so please do not attempt to make the trip to drop off any paperwork, payments etc. Please see the webpage for each application type for specific guidance. 

We will do our best to process your application as quickly as possible but please bear in mind it will very likely take longer than usual.

Contacting the team

As we are very busy trying to process as many applications as possible, please do not contact us unless it is absolutely necessary. In the first instance, please check the website for any updates or changes to procedures. 

  • If you cannot find the answer to your question on the website, please use email to contact us. Our email address will be monitored throughout the day and we will respond as soon as we are able.
  • If you do not have access to email, please call us on 01235 422556. It is likely that we will not be able to take your call at the time, so please be prepared to leave a message with your name, phone number and the reason for your call.
  • We will try to return any calls and respond to emails within 5 working days, which is our usual response target.

Advice and support for businesses

You may find the following links useful:

For advice on any potential COVID-19 outbreak at your premises, please follow the guidance on this action card.

The government has put in place measures to support businesses affected by COVID-19. If you’re a local business owner you can also contact our South and Vale Business Support team.

We recognise these are challenging and uncertain times and would encourage anyone struggling with their mental health and wellbeing or financial difficulties to seek help from the broad range of support available including:

Advice for outdoor and public events

For guidance on safety at events, please see our events management page.

Cancelling or postponing an event with a temporary event notice

We cannot amend a temporary event notice to move an event to a new date, nor can we issue a refund for any cancelled event. You can however withdraw the TEN so that it does not count towards your totals for the year. Please email us at to do this.

Cancelling or postponing an event with a premises licence

If you need to postpone an event, you need to check your licence very carefully. Most premises licences will be issued in perpetuity and can therefore be used at any time in the future. Some premises licences however may be time limited, in which case they cannot be used for different dates. You can check if your premises licence is time limited by looking at the front page of your licence, and refer to the section that read “Where the licence is time limited the dates”. If you would like to discuss a variation to your licence, please contact us.

The annual fee for the premises licence will be due whether or not the event takes place, unless you choose to permanently surrender the licence.

Premises licence annual fees – Gambling Act 2005 and Licensing Act 2003

These should still be paid as normal as we are legally required to suspend licences where payment is not made. Any overdue fees are required to be paid in order for us to lift the suspension of a premises licence.

Business and Planning Act

The Business and Planning Act introduced a temporary automatic extension to on-sales licences to allow for off-sales until 30 September 2022. This is the case even if the licence has conditions restricting or prohibiting off-sales, although there are some exceptions. Please contact us if you plan to make off-sales under the exemption, so we can provide more detailed guidance to you, and use the templates provided below as appropriate:

Contact us - Licensing

01235 422556
(Text phone users add 18001 before dialing)

Vale of White Horse District Council
135 Eastern Avenue
Milton Park
OX14 4SB