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.

Until we move to step 2, current restrictions apply. Under these restrictions, hospitality venues are required to close, including cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs. This is with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway, click-and-collect and drive-through. All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery.

Following the move to Step 2 on 12 April, outdoor areas at hospitality venues can reopen to serve customers in groups of up to 6 people or 2 households. These venues may allow customers to use toilets, baby changing rooms or breast feeding rooms located inside.

Some venues may wish to erect outdoor shelters. To be considered ‘outdoors’, shelters, marquees and other structures can have a roof but need to have at least 50% of the area of their walls open at all times whilst in use.

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.

From Step 2, hospitality venues will also be allowed to provide takeaway alcohol. 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 (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 using the toilets and 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.