What are the new restrictions coming into force today?

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Government regulations: there are a plethora of new regulations coming into force for the trade
Government regulations: there are a plethora of new regulations coming into force for the trade

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From today (Thursday 24 September), new restrictions for pubs and the hospitality sector come into force.

Pub staff and customers must wear a face covering when indoors at pubs, bars, restaurants, cafés and any other premises providing hospitality except when seated at a table to eat or drink.

However, customers must put a face covering back on once they have finished eating or drinking.

The Morning Advertiser (MA) ​​has contacted the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for clarification on back-of-house staff wearing face coverings but has not received a response at the time of publication.

New rules in place

The MA ​also asked the Cabinet Office about the use of plastic visors and was directed to the Government's mention of the use of clear visors under its Working safely during coronavirus ​​guidance​​, stating they are permitted. However, we are awaiting a response to clarify on this.

Also from today, pubs must be closed each day between 10pm and 5am, meaning no customers are allowed to be in the pub at that time.

In a statement to the House of Commons earlier this week (Tuesday 22 September), Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “All pubs, bars and restaurants must operate table-service only, except for takeaways.

“Together with all hospitality venues, they must close at 10pm. To help the police to enforce this rule, I am afraid that means alas closing, and not just calling for last orders. Simplicity is paramount.

“The same will apply to takeaways - though deliveries can continue thereafter.”

Assisting NHS

Pubs and bars had been told to ensure they have QR code posters visible on entry ahead of the app’s launch across England and Wales today.

The app will mean customers can check-in to venues with QR codes and NHS contact-tracers will be able to contact multiple people if Covid-19 outbreaks are identified.

The codes can be created and downloaded on the Government's website.

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