On the back of the Covid-19 alert level being raised to level four (transmission is high or rising exponentially), the Prime Minister yesterday decreed that pubs and restaurants in England must shut their doors by 10pm every evening from Thursday 24 Septemberas part of new measures to slow the spread of the virus.
Key points (applicable from 24th September):
- 10 pm means closing, not last orders. So pubs will need to factor in calling time earlier.
- All pubs, bars and restaurants must be table service only.
- It will now be compulsory for customers to wear face coverings, though notwhilst seated and eating or drinking, but when moving around premises(entering, exiting, using facilities etc.).
- It will also become mandatory for staff to wear face coverings.
- Delivery services can remain open after 10pm but be aware of any local restrictions.
- Non-compliance with these new regulations will result in £10,000 fines for businesses and £200 for a first offence of not wearing a mask.
- Local authorities are being given extra funds to help the policing of these changes and the police will have access to military support, if needed.
Other measures announced which may impact pubs include:
- The directive to work from home where possible.
- No return of fans to stadiums.
- There is now a maximum of 15 people allowed at ceremonies and receptions – though up to 30 can still attend funerals.
NHS Test and Trace App
As previously shared with you, NHS Test and Trace App has been launched and it is essential to have this in place from 24 September. From the 18th September it was mandatory to collect staff, customer and visitor data. From the 24th September venues including pubs must display a NHS QR code that can be scanned using the NHS Test & Trace app. This is a unique code for your pub that must be registered and downloaded via the Government website. You can generate your code by following this link.
You have two options thereafter:
1. You can use the NHS Test & Trace QR code (linked to NHS app) as your primary means of collecting customer details and stop using any existing in-house system such as your own QR codes. This would be the preference of Government due to the additional functionality and epidemiological information associated with this. For further information click here.
2. You can continue to operate your own existing system for collecting customer details. However, you still need to display the NHS Test & Trace QR code prominently in your pub and for it to be accessible for all customers in case they chose to additionally use it to “check-in”.
Please note, if the NHS Test & Trace QR code is used as a venue’s primary means of collecting customer details, all customers must “check-in” by scanning the QR code. However, if a venue chooses to continue operating its own in-house system for collecting customer details, only the lead customer’s details have to be recorded. Whichever method for collecting customer details you choose, all venues must operate a “back-up” system for anyone that does not have a smartphone or who chooses not to use the NHS Test & Trace QR code. This can be pen and paper or a booking-only system that would then capture all lead customer details. Paper records should be held for 21 days only.
Please also check your Local Council website to see if there are specific guidelines or restrictions relevant to your pub rather than those for the country as a whole – click here.