COVID-19 working safely in the hospitality sector

We appreciate that the guidance and legal framework on how you operate changes frequently. Most businesses have been very successful in keeping up to date and we would like to thank you for doing that.

The government has provided advice on what precautions you should be taking while trading.

Moving into step 3 allows

  • serving customers indoors
  • updated social contact rules (gatherings of up to 30 people are permitted outdoors; gatherings of up to 6 people or 2 households of any size are permitted indoors) 
  • relaxation of rules around live performances, business events and soft play areas

If a venue continues to use their outdoor shelters, marquees or other structures they have to have at least 50% of the area of the walls open at all times whilst in use to allow groups of up to 30 people to gather. If it is less than 50% it is classed as indoors and it will be limited to 6 people or 2 households at a table.

At any premises serving alcohol, customers will be required to order, be served and eat/drink while seated (even if no alcohol is ordered). If a hospitality venue does not serve alcohol, then customers will be able to order and collect food and drink from a counter, but must consume food and drink while seated at a table.

Takeaway food and drink (including alcohol) must not be consumed on the premises or adjacent to the premises.

The following requirements are mandatory:

  • To display the NHS QR code for customers or visitors over 16 to use as they enter the premises. If the customer cannot access it you must keep a written record of contact details for 21 days. Failure to comply may result in the issuing of a fixed penalty notice with a fine starting at £1000.
  • Let customers know that by law they can only visit in groups of up to 6 people sitting inside the premises (unless they are visiting as a household or support bubble which is larger than 6). 
  • Ensure staff wear face coverings when in customer facing areas, unless they have an exemption.
  • Remind customers of the need to wear face coverings - wherever reasonably possible direct customers to wear face masks when they are inside your business at anytime unless they are seated at the table where they will consume food or drink. Have signage in place to direct customers to these requirements.
  • Ensure all customers remain seated. Prevent social contact by ensuring customers sit down to eat and drink at the venue. This is required by law.
  • If you sell alcohol, provide table service only. This is required by law.
  • Keep groups apart. Space out tables, consider using barriers between groups, and manage the number of customers in the venue. Manage the number of customers in the venue.
  • Lower music and other background noise. Prevent shouting, singing and dancing in the venue by making sure music and broadcasts are played at a low volume.

In addition please ensure adequate cleaning and sanitising of contact surfaces and equipment between customers

Visits may be made and more formal action will be considered if the requirements are not met.