Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined changes to existing coronavirus regulations in an address to the public today (Wednesday 9 September).
He said: "Fines will be levied against hospitality venues that fail to ensure their premises remain Covid-secure."
"We will support local authorities to make further and faster use of their powers to close venues that are breaking the rules and pose a risk to public health."
"We will boost the enforcement capacity of local authorities by introducing Covid-secure marshals to help ensure social distancing in towns and city centres."
The marshals will not have the power to give pubs fines but will advise venues on their compliance with the regulations and report any failing pubs to the police.
Local authorities will also be given a register of Environmental Health Officers that they can draw upon for support, the Prime Minister said.
Cooperation of customers
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said the hospitality sector would redouble its efforts to protect public health.
“This will, of course, be more easily achieved with the cooperation of customers, so the measures to make clear the responsibility of individuals was equally welcome," she added. "Any fines charged against hospitality venues for breaching Covid-secure requirements must be proportionate and pertain to factors wholly under the control of the venue."
The announcement was welcomed by the Local Government Association (LGA) which noted most businesses were already implementing necessary measures.
Cllr Nesil Caliskan, chair of the LGA's safer and stronger communities board said: "These measures will mean they can act quickly and proactively in cracking down on places that flout Covid-19 guidance, to prevent problems in the first place instead of only being able to act when it is too late."
Further detail on the marshal scheme was needed as soon as possible, Caliskan said.
Taking customer contact details for NHS Test and Trace will be made mandatory. It is currently voluntary for venues.