UK Government Introduces New Covid Noise Limit For Bars, Pubs & Restaurants

An image showing a group of music speakers - a visual representation of the new Covid noise limit.

The hospitality sector has had new temporary regulations imposed on it, in a bid to limit the spread of Covid-19. The amendment to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Obligations of Undertakings) (England) Regulations 2020 introduces a new Covid noise limit of 85dB(A) for any music played in cafes, bars restaurants and hotels and came into force on 28th September, as is enforceable by law.

(1C) A person responsible for carrying on a business of a public house, café, restaurant or bar (including a bar in a hotel or members’ club) must, during the emergency period, ensure that no music is played on the premises which exceeds 85db(A) when measured at the source of the music.

Public Health England, 2020

Advice on keeping noise levels as low as possible was introduced when the UK’s Coronavirus lockdown restrictions began to ease back in July. This new amendment to the law makes the Covid noise limit of 85dB(A) a legal obligation rather than a recommendation, meaning premises that don’t comply could be hit with a fine of up to £10,000.

This new legislation only applies to pre-recorded music; live performances are exempt.

What this means for those working in the hospitality sector is that they should conduct regular noise level checks in areas where music is played to ensure that they are not in breach of these new restrictions as part of their preparations to be Covid-secure.

Cirrus Research can help you ensure you comply with the new Covid noise limit

These noise level checks can be conducted with a simple sound level meter, such as the CR:308/CR:310, but should be a Class 2 instrument as a minimum, as this is the standard requirement for the measurement of occupational noise, as dictated by the Health & Safety Executive. The CR:308/CR:310 is available to purchase as a standalone sound level meter or as part of Cirrus Research’s ‘Way-Back’ Pack, which includes the products to help organisations get back to work safely amidst the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Cirrus Research ‘Way-Back’ includes:

The ‘Way-Back’ Pack can be purchased as a complete package or it can be customised to include more of what you need, and less of what you don’t. Alternatively, it can be hired on fixed 3-, 6- and 12-month terms, to help alleviate the financial implications for your business.

If you work in the hospitality industry and need help understanding how best to make sure you are complying with the Covid noise limit, please get in touch with a member of our friendly UK-based team.

Clarke Roberts

Senior Marketing Executive at Cirrus Research plc
Clarke is a Senior Marketing Executive and is responsible for helping people to find Cirrus Research's innovative noise measurement solutions by using all aspects of the marketing mix.

He particularly enjoys writing content about product applications, including noise nuisance, occupational noise and environmental noise pollution.