The Government has published a new 43-page guide full of rules for pobs, restaurants, bars and takeaways in the wake of lockdown restrictions being eased on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that from July 4 across England restaurants and pubs can reopen their doors.
People will need to stay at least a metre apart from each other and there will be other mitigation to stop the spread of coronavirus such as masks, visors, hand washing and screens.
The new guidance was published this morning, Wednesday.
It includes rules on keeping contact details for customers and reducing the number of people in venues, as well as a ban on live music and entertainment.
Sport on TV and pre-recorded music will have to keep the volume low enough that people don’t need to shout.
The rules read: “At this time, venues should not permit live performances, including drama, comedy and music, to take place in front of a live audience. This is important to mitigate the risks of aerosol transmission – from either the performer(s) or their audience.”
The rules mention quizzes and comedians as live entertainment.
The guidance says that pub and restaurant bosses have a duty of
- Ensuring both workers and clients who feel unwell stay at home and do not attend the venue.
- In every workplace, increasing the frequency of handwashing and surface cleaning.
- Where the social distancing guidelines cannot be followed in full, in relation to a particular activity, businesses should consider whether that activity needs to continue for the business to operate, and if so, take all the mitigating actions possible to reduce the risk of transmission between their staff.
Further mitigating actions include:
- Further increasing the frequency of hand washing and surface cleaning.
- Keeping the activity time involved as short as possible.
- Using screens or barriers to separate workers from each other and workers from customers at points of service.
- Using back-to-back or side-to-side working (rather than face-to-face) whenever possible.
- Reducing the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnering’(so each person works with only a few others).
- Finally, if people must work face-to-face for a sustained period with more than a small group of fixed partners, then you will need to assess whether the activity can safely go ahead.
Pubs, bars and restaurants are expected to collect contact details for their customers.
The rules state: “The opening up of the economy following the COVID-19 outbreak is being supported by NHS Test and Trace. You should assist this service by keeping a temporary record of your customers and visitors for 21 days, in a way that is manageable for your business, and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed.
“This could help contain clusters or outbreaks. Many businesses that take bookings already have systems for recording their customers and visitors – including restaurants, hotels, and hair salons. If you do not already do this, you should do so to help fight the virus.”
Numbers should also be limited, the rules state: “Indoor gatherings should only be occurring in groups of up to two households (including support bubbles) while outdoor gatherings should only be occurring in groups of up to two households (or support bubbles), or a group of at most six people from any number of households.
“It is against the law to gather in groups of more than 30 people, except for the limited circumstances as set out in law. In these specific cases, those operating venues should take additional steps to ensure the safety of the public and prevent large gatherings or mass events from taking place. At this time, venues should not permit live performances, including drama, comedy and music, to take place in front of a live audience.”
Steps that will usually be needed:
- Calculating the maximum number of customers that can reasonably follow social distancing guidelines (2m, or 1m with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable, is acceptable) at the venue
- .Taking into account total indoor and outdoor space, specific venue characteristics such as furniture as well as likely pinch points and busy areas.
- Reconfiguring indoor and outdoor seating and tables to maintain social distancing guidelines (2m,or 1m with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable, is acceptable) between customers of different households or support bubbles. For example, increasing the distance between tables.
- Working with your local authority or landlord to take into account the impact of your processes, including queues, on public spaces such as high streets and public car parks.
- Working with neighbouring businesses and local authorities to provide additional parking facilities such as bike-racks, where possible, to help customers avoid using public transport.
- Reducing the need for customers to queue, but where this is unavoidable, discouraging customers from queueing indoors and using outside spaces for queueing where available and safe. For example, using some car parks and existing outdoor services areas.
- Providing clear guidance on social distancing and hygiene to people on arrival, for example, signage, visual aids and before arrival, such as by phone, on the website or by email.
- Managing the entry of customers, and the number of customers at a venue, so that all indoor customers are seated with appropriate distancing, and those outdoors have appropriately spaced seating or standing room. This is to ensure that the venue, including areas of congestion does not become overcrowded. Managing entry numbers can be done, for example, through reservation systems, social distancing markings, having customers queue at a safe distance for toilets or bringing payment machines to customers, where possible.
- Managing outside queues to ensure they do not cause a risk to individuals, other businesses or additional security risks, for example by introducing queuing systems, having staff direct customers and protecting queues from traffic by routing them behind permanent physical structures such as street furniture, bike racks, bollards or putting up barriers.
- Making customers aware of, and encouraging compliance with, limits on gatherings. For example, on arrival or at booking
- Indoor gatherings are limited to members of any two households (or support bubbles), while outdoor gatherings are limited to members of any two households (or support bubbles), or a group of at most six people from any number of households
- Ensuring any changes to entrances, exits and queue management take into account reasonable adjustments for those who need them, including disabled customers. For example, maintaining pedestrian and parking access for disabled customers.
- Reminding customers who are accompanied by children that they are responsible for supervising them at all times and should follow social distancing guidelines.
- Looking at how people move through the venue and how you could adjust this to reduce congestion and contact between customers, for example, queue management or one-way flow, where possible.
- Planning for maintaining social distancing guidelines (2m, or 1m with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable, is acceptable) in the event of adverse weather conditions, being clear that customers can not seek shelter indoors unless social distancing can be maintained.
- Working with neighbouring businesses and local authorities to consider how to spread the number of people arriving throughout the day for example by staggering opening hours; this will help reduce demand on public transport at key times and avoid overcrowding.
- Determining if schedules for essential services and contractor visits can be revised to reduce interaction and overlap between people, for example, carrying out services at night.
Venues are also being advised to use social distance markings, manage customer self-service of food, cutlery and condiments, provide disposable condiments, reduce surfaces touched by staff and customers, encourage contactless payment, minimise contact between staff and customers, ensure all outdoor areas have sufficient ventilation, encourage apps and online ordering, limit access to venues for those waiting for takeaways, stop customers returning glasses to the bar and encourage use of outdoor areas and handwashing.