Following the prime minister’s announcement on 22nd September 2020, here are the new changes to regulations and guidance which will affect your business.
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Obligations of Undertakings) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2020
These regulations came into force on 28th September 2020 and impose further obligations on businesses who may provide recorded music and/or areas for customers to dance, to help make their premises more COVID-19 secure.
The regulation state that a person responsible for a public house, café, restaurant or bar (including a bar in a hotel or members’ club) must, during the emergency period, take all reasonable measures to:
- Stop singing on the premises by customers in groups of more than six.
- Stop dancing on the premises by customers. Please note that the prevention of dancing does not apply at a wedding ceremony or wedding reception by the couple to whom the wedding relates; or at a civil partnership ceremony or reception following a civil partnership ceremony by the couple to whom the civil partnership ceremony relates.
- Do not play music which exceeds 85dB (A) * when measured at the source of the music. This does not apply to any performance of live music.
- Display signage and information or take other measures to ensure that any person who enters is aware they are required to wear a face covering unless an exemption applies.
* If you are unsure as to what 85dB (A) is in practice, there are noise apps that can be downloaded for free, which can be used to help give you an indication of what the noise level is within your establishment. Readings should be taken at 1m from the noise source, e.g. speakers.
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Obligations of Hospitality Undertakings) (England) Regulations 2020
These regulations came into force on 18th September 2020 and impose a number of obligations on the hospitality industry. This means businesses must take measures to ensure their customers follow the rules on social distancing.
These regulations apply to all public houses, cafes, restaurants and any other relevant business.
- A person responsible must take all reasonable measures to ensure no bookings are accepted, or numbers of persons are admitted, in groups of more than six, unless an exemption in regulation 5 of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) regulations applies (e.g. same household).
- No persons should mingle between qualifying groups and an appropriate distance is to be maintained between tables of qualifying groups.
- An appropriate distance between tables is at least two metres; or at least one metre if there are barriers or screens between tables, the tables are arranged with back to back seating, or otherwise arranged to ensure that persons sitting at one table do not face any person sitting at another table at a distance of less than two metres.
Please note that failure to do so could result in formal action.
Health Protection (Coronavirus, Collection of Contact Details etc and Related Requirements) Regulations 2020
These regulations came into force on 18th September 2020 and require businesses offering food and drink for consumption on the premises, leisure and tourism services, close physical contact services and services for social, cultural, and recreational purposes to collect contact details from all members of the public visiting the premises.
From 24th September you must display an NHS Test and Trace QR poster for your business.
You must ensure that you:
- Print enough QR posters to cover all entrances.
- In busy places, put up multiple copies to ensure that a queue does not build up.
- Explain to those customers who do not use the QR Code that their details must be manually added to a contact log.
In the guidance document maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace, it advises that venues must ask every customer and visitor for the contact details unless they have ‘checked in’ using the NHS COVID-19 app. For example, if a group of 4 visit your premises and 2 of them check in using the QR poster, you will have to manually record the details of the other two people.
If details are taken manually you must take the following details:
- The name of the customer. If a group of 6 people attend and all ‘check in’ manually, then you can record the name of the ‘lead member’ of the group and the number of people in the group. This individual will need to be made aware that they will then be responsible to inform all of the group if contacted by test and trace. It is recommended that if the group is of mixed households you may wish to take down all the individuals’ details.
- Contact phone number. If a phone number is not available, get an email address or postal address
- Date of visit
- Arrival time and, where possible, departure time (even estimated time will help)
- Name of the assigned staff member, if a customer will interact with only one member of staff (for example, one member of wating staff). This should also be recorded on the log
- Records must be kept for 21 days
Please note persons who refuse to provide plausible details must now be refused entry to relevant premises. Failure to comply with the above regulations may result in a criminal conviction and fine.
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place) (England) Regulations 2020
From 24th September customers in hospitality venues including bars, pubs, restaurants, and cafes must wear face coverings, except when seated at a table and eating or drinking. A face covering must be worn by customers before they have commenced, and once they have finished, eating or drinking. Staff in hospitality and retail will now also be required to wear face coverings.
If a person visits your premises and has an exemption then they do not need to wear a face covering. The list of exemptions can be found: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own#exemptions
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) (Amendment) (No. 5) Regulations 2020
These Regulations came into force from 24th September 2020 and require businesses to comply with the following:
- Businesses which sell food or drink (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants) must be closed between 10pm and 5am. Therefore, you may wish to call last orders at 9pm, so the premises can be empty and closed by 10pm. Takeaways should close to walk-ins between 10pm and 5am each day, but they can continue to operate a delivery or drive through service.
- Hotel bars and dining rooms will need to be closed between 10pm and 5am. Hotels will still be able to provide room service, if guests order through a phone or online whilst at the premises
- Food and drink must be ordered from, and served at, a table, this includes in licensed premises.
- When consuming food or drink whilst indoors at a hospitality venue, customers must be sat a table.
- Employers must not knowingly require or encourage staff members who are required to self-isolate, to come to work.
Dover District Council will be working with the Police and using CCTV in the area to ensure compliance.Please note that failure to do so could result in formal action.
It is important to us that we continue to work pro-actively with our businesses during this extremely difficult and extraordinary moment in time. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or need advice regarding your business and we will endeavour to help.