On Tuesday 22nd September 2020, the Government issued updated guidelines regarding the coronavirus pandemic, with several key dates from which rules will be applied. We are working hard to get further details to you as soon as possible, and will share updates when available.
From Thursday 24th September:
- All hospitality venues must close between 10pm and 5am (they must shut at 10pm, not calling for last orders)
- All pubs, bars and restaurants will be restricted to table service only. Takeaways can continue
- Customers in indoor hospitality venues will also have to wear masks, except when seated at a table to eat or drink
- Face coverings must be worn by retail and hospitality staff
From Monday 28th September:
- The number of people allowed to attend wedding ceremonies and receptions will be reduced from 30 to 15. 30 people can still attend a funeral. Organisers must follow COVID-19 Secure guidance and all legal requirements to ensure they are protecting staff and customers
- In retail, leisure, tourism and other sectors, COVID-Secure guidelines will become legal obligations. Businesses will be fined and could be closed if they breach these rules
Business Events and Conferences
Business conferences, exhibitions and large sporting events were planned to reopen on 1st October 2020, but this will now be paused. However, business events of up to 30 can continue. Find out more via Conference News.
Live theatre will be able to continue with social distancing, although measures are expected to continue for six months. Find out more via Whats On Stage.
Test and Trace Update
There is a legal requirement – which came into force on 18th September – for venues in hospitality, the tourism and leisure industry, close contact services and local authority facilities to:
- Ask at least one member of every party of customers or visitors (up to six people) to provide a name and contact details
- Keep a record of all staff working on their premises and shift times on a given day and their contact details
- Keep these records of customers, visitors and staff for 21 days and provide data to NHS Test and Trace if requested
- Adhere to General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)
From 24th September, there will be an additional legal requirement for the same venues to display an official NHS QR code poster, so that customers and visitors can ‘check in’ using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details. Any designated venue found not to be complying with the regulations above will be subject to financial penalties.
Coach Tours Update
If it is possible to ensure that groups of more than six do not mix on a tour, coach tours of over six people on the coach can go ahead. People must stay in their groups of up to six (or larger if they are from one household) on all parts of the tour – whilst in hospitality settings and when visiting attractions, plus whilst on the coach, for example.
Legislation does not place capacity constraints on public transport services, private hire vehicles or leisure tours. Operators should continue to provide COVID-Secure transport services which can accommodate multiple groups of six people. The Department for Transport will update the transport guidance shortly to clarify and assist passengers and operators.
Meetings of up to 30 people indoors are allowed in permitted venues if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate it has followed the COVID-19 guidance.
If permitted venues have multiple, separate meeting facilities, these can be hired out simultaneously for separate meetings/events if social distancing can be maintained, groups can be kept separate, and the venue can demonstrate it has followed the COVID-19 guidance.
Face Coverings Update
Businesses will be asked to promote the wearing of face coverings by staff and customers and compliance through signage and other appropriate means in order to be COVID-Secure.
There is no obligation for businesses to enforce these new measures. Rather than simply refuse entry to someone not wearing a face covering, a business may instead ask that individual to put one on, bearing in mind that some people are exempt.
If an individual is acting anti-socially or against the rules, staff will be able to ask them to leave, or call the police if necessary. This is a matter for the police, who can take measures if people do not comply with this law without a valid exemption. The penalty for failing to wear a mask or breaking the rule of six will double to £200 for a first offence.
Hospitality services within hotels, such as hotel dining rooms and bars, will need to follow the new requirement to close to the public between 10pm and 5am. Hotels will still be able to provide food and drink through room service as long as it is ordered by phone or online.