Customers are now being welcomed throughout Northern Ireland, England and Scotland for the first time since the lockdown to restaurants, bars, cafes, and pubs. This also means that some of these places are open to being rented out so things such as engagement party venues in London will be reopening.
* Restaurants, pubs, and hotels are now offering to customers dine-in services in Northern Ireland, England and Scotland.
* Restaurants and pubs in Wales are opening their outdoor area from the 13th of July with their indoor area opening from the 3rd of August.
Is It Safe To Go To The Pub?
From a simple point of view, there has been a strict set of guidelines that were issued for Northern Ireland, England and Scotland to ensure that restaurants and pubs keep their staff and customers safe.
Some of these include:
* Customers should have the option to order food on apps
* Before handling cutlery and plates, staff should ensure that they thoroughly wash their hands
* All audio at establishments should keep the volume to a minimum to prevent persons from shouting. This is done to reduce transmission risks
* Reservations should be made in advanced
* Live shows or standing at the bar is not permitted
* There will be controlled access to facility restrooms
The famous Wetherspoons pub chain has made a conscious effort to keep their staff safe and provided them with protective eyewear, face masks and even a shorter menu. Condiments such as mayo and ketchup are also being replaced by individual sachets. The pub has also indicated that they will be encouraging patrons to sit in the pub gardens while others in the indoor area are protected by plastic screens.
In Northern Ireland, the social distancing space between persons has been reduced to 3ft instead of 6ft and almost the same in England. However, there are still restrictions which apply in both cases. In Scotland, restaurants, pubs and cafes can now apply to be exempted from the 6ft rule if they follow the required steps.
Am I Required To Provide My Contact Details If I Eat Out?
Restaurants and bars are provided with the necessary details on how they should deal with contact tracing. The following applies to the relevant business:
* In a group of persons, only one person’s information is taken
* Relevant information should be kept for roughly 21 days
* While customers are only required to present their contact number and name, business owners are advised to note their time of arrival and the duration of their arrival
* Necessary data can be taken using any medium. These include during booking or online and on paper
* If persons refuse to give their personal information, business owners can also refuse to serve them
Will Restaurants And Pubs Be Forced To Close If A Customer Tests Positive?
In the case where a customer tests positive, the establishment may need to close for a short period. Officials have also indicated that Trace calls and NHS testing does not always result in a restaurant or pub being closed. It all simply depends on the circumstance and when they visited.
NHS Trace And Tests could require staff to do the following:
* be prepared to get testing
* social distance with some extra case
* practice self-isolation if need be
However, it should be noted that government and health officials have the power shut the doors of any establishment. Thus far several pubs have closed their doors after reopening on the 4th of July since some of their customers tested positive. So if you’re personally contacted by the Trace or NHS Test, follow all instructions and get ready to self-isolate.
How Did The Hospitality Sector Cope During The Lockdown?
In 2018, the hospitality sector was classed as being the third-largest employer in the UK. However, many cafes and restaurants were already facing hardships before the start of Covid-19. The pandemic grew and left businesses suffering to pay rent as customers stopped spending.
Research has indicated that several thousand workers are being furloughed via the government’s job retention program. The program is set to allow them to receive up to 80% of their monthly salary up to the sum of £2,500. The British Beer and Pub Association has welcomed the suggestions to reopen businesses. However, they’ve suggested that pub-goers do everything in their power to adequately support staff so that everyone can return to their former glory while maintaining high standards of safety.