- There has been updates to this guidance. Please see here for the latest rules.
The Government has now confirmed pubs can serve customers outside from next Monday (12 April) and there have been changes to measures when compared to reopening last summer.
One big change is taking contact details of customers to help NHS Test and Trace. Whereas last year, operators were required to take information of one person in a group, it is now a legal requirement that details from all pubgoers must be recorded.
The guidance states operators must display the official NHS QR code poster (which can be created here) alongside asking every customer of visitor aged over 16 to check in to the venue or provide their contact details, which can be done using the NHS Covid-19 app.
It also says pubs must have a system in place to ensure information can be collected from visitors who do not have a smartphone or don’t want to use the NHS app.
Information collected must include the customer’s name, contact telephone number or email address or postal address, date of visit, time of visit and where possible, departure time, as well as the name of the assigned staff member if a customer will interact with only one member of staff.
The guidance does note while recording arrival and departure times will help reduce the number of people to be contact by NHS Test and Trace if required, recording departure times isn’t always practicable and this is not requirement by law.
The information collected must not be used for any other purpose other than for NHS Test and Trace unless operators would already collect it for another business purpose.
An example given in the guidance is operators must not collect data for NHS Test and Trace for marketing purposes and doing so could lead to penalty fines and enforcement action from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
Any business found to be not complying with the requirements will be subject to financial penalties. However, should a pub remain closed at the next stage of the roadmap unlocking and offer takeaways, they do not need to comply with these requirements.
Meanwhile, the guidance also states from step two (no earlier than Monday 12 April), hospitality venues will be permitted to provide takeaway alcohol.
Outside trading is allowed with the rule of six (groups of up to six people) or two households. Customers will be permitted to use toilets, baby changing rooms or breast-feeding rooms inside.
When it comes to external structures, to be considered ‘outdoors’, shelters, marquees and other types of coverings like this can have a roof but need to have at least half (50%) of the area of the walls open at all times while in use.
Table service will be in operation however, the guidance says if a hospitality venue does not serve alcohol, customers will be allowed to order and collect food and drink from a counter, but must consume it while seated.
Furthermore, pubs that open for outdoor trading from next week will still be eligible for the Restart Grants as The Morning Advertiser understands the scheme is based on sector, rather than open or closed status.