What are the rules for pubs to reopen for indoor trading?

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Indoor service permitted: pubs can trade inside from next week (image: Getty/ HAKINMHAN)
Indoor service permitted: pubs can trade inside from next week (image: Getty/ HAKINMHAN)

Related tags: Legislation, Hygiene + cleaning, Government, Table service

Following the Prime Minister’s confirmation pubs can resume trading inside from Monday 17 May, we take a look at the rules around indoor service.

Certain rules that were in place when pubs first reopened last July have remained in place for this reopening.

The 64-page guidance​ including risk assessment information and social distancing measures, was first published last May, ahead of hospitality venues reopening after lockdown one.

• ​Customer numbers

Pubs will be permitted to serve customers in groups of six people or two households of any size indoors.

• ​Outdoor trading

The main change for outside trading is the number of people who can be served outdoors. As of Monday 17 May, pubs can serve customers in groups of up to 30 people, which The Morning Advertiser ​understands is not limited on households but numbers (up to 30 people).

For further information about the rules on outdoor trading, read more here​.

• ​Test & Trace

As was the case for outdoor reopening, pubs are still required to take 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.

• ​Table service

Any venue that serves alcohol, customers have to order, be served and eat or drink while seated meaning this rule remains in place for inside reopening and for serving outside too.

• ​Social distancing

Social distancing must still be in place for indoor service including when taking orders from customers.

This is two metres or one-metre plus with risk mitigation where two metres is not possible.

• ​Face coverings

According to the Government website, face coverings must be worn by retail, leisure and hospitality staff working in any indoor area open to the public.

As with previous reopenings, customers must also wear face coverings in indoor hospitality venues, other than when seated at a table to eat or drink.

• Live performances

From Monday 17 May, pubs can host live performances and business events with a cap on attendance.

For indoors, this is expected to be 1,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity – whichever is lower – while for outdoors, this can be 4,000 people or 50% of capacity, again whichever is lower and events should be ticketed.

These capacity limits refer to attendees only so staff, workers and volunteers are covered by the work exemption and not counted as part of the capacity cap.

Read more about the rules for entertainment here​.

Do you have any questions about the rules for trading? Contact avxxvr.gungpure@jeoz.pbz​ 

Related topics: Legislation

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