- In England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, everything from pubs to cafes and restaurants are finally allowing customers for the first time since the lockdown started in March.
- In England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland all of the hotels, restaurants, and pubs that serve food in their place of business are now eligible to reopen.
- In Wales, restaurants and pubs are eligible to open to serve outdoors from the 13 of July and they will be eligible to reopen indoors starting on the 3rd of August.
Is it finally safe to visit the pub?
There have been strict guidelines issued for restaurants and pubs in Scotland, England, and Northern Ireland. These guidelines have been placed in order to keep both the staff and customers frequenting the place safe.
These Guidelines Include:
- Being able to place orders directly on apps
- Every staff member should be thoroughly washing his/her hands prior to touching any plates or cutlery
- Music should be kept at a low enough volume to avoid having to speak loudly to be heard to minimise chances of transmission
- Booking tables in advance will be recommended for anyone going to the pub, including some outdoor areas such as beer gardens in Shoreditch
- Standing at the bar will not be allowed
- Live gigs won’t be allowed
- There will be controlled access to toilets
The Wetherspoons pub chain specifically mentioned that they will be providing all of their staff members with the appropriate face masks and eyewear protection. Likewise, they will be reducing their menu of food items. All of the condiment bottles including ketchup and mayonnaise will be offered in individual sachets instead. All customers will be encouraged to sit outside in the gardens of the pub rather than inside. However, there will be indoor seating areas that will have plastic screens separating them.
In Northern Ireland, social distancing guidelines has been reduced from 2m to 1m. In England, social distancing has been reduced from 2m to 1m. Each has restrictions applied. Any pubs, cafes, and restaurants located in Scotland will be able to apply for exemptions from the social distancing guidelines if they proactively take various steps.
Do I Have To Provide Details Of My Contact Information If I Eat Out?
UK pub and hospitality trade bodies have gone ahead and established a bunch of guidelines for both restaurants and bars for operation for contact tracing.
- Only one member of each group needs to provide contact information
- The details of the member need to be kept for 21 days
- The customers only have to give their phone number and name. The owner of the pub or restaurant should be noting their arrival time and the duration for which they stayed
- All data can be noted either on paper, during the booking process by phone, or online
- Customers can refuse to provide contact information, but then owners will be able to refuse service
If A Customer Tests Positive, Will The Restaurant or Pub Be Forced To Close?
This could be the case, but not always. The official government advice specifically says that an NHS Test and Trace call doesn’t inherently imply that the place of business needs to close. It really depends on the various situations and circumstances surrounding the visit of the infected customer.
NHS Test and Trace Could Ask The Staff To:
- Get tested themselves
- Take precautions with social distancing implementation
- Self-isolate in specific circumstances
Local Health Protection Officials Have the Ability And Authority To Close Places
Some of the pubs located in England that reopened on the 4th of July ended up closing once customers tested positive.
- Pubs typically close after the customers test positive
- There have been two pubs forced to close
If you have been personally contacted by the Test and Trace, you will want to adhere to their advice and prep for self-isolation.
How Did The Hospitality Sector Cope With The Lockdown?
According to UK Hospitality, this sector was actually the 3rd largest employer in the entire country in 2018. However, a lot of the smaller cafes and restaurants were already having a tough time prior to the outbreak. This was primarily caused by decreased discretionary spending due to rising living costs.
Thousands of people in the industry have been furloughed under the government’s job retention scheme which allows them to get as much as 80% of their salary on a monthly basis up to £2,500. The British Beer and Pub Association which specifically represents the pub’s industry noted that they wanted to look to reopen businesses. But at the same time, they did call on customers to help the staff ensure everyone is safe in the process.