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  • Writer's pictureWilliam Wood


This week has seen the reopening of non-essential retail businesses in England as part of the next stage in the relaxation of coronavirus restrictions. UK Hospitality (UKH) has published some helpful guidance on how this relates to hospitality:

• Payment indoors: the Guidance for Restaurants, Pubs & Bars has been updated under section ‘2.3.2with information on managing customer payment at the venue. This confirms that a customer may legally make a payment indoors rather than outdoors at the table should this not be possible e.g. wi-fi or technical issues or no cash. This requirement only applies to premises which are selling alcohol where table ordering, service is a requirement. If you need to take payment indoors, the customer should wear a face-covering unless exempt and measures should be in place to ensure only one customer is indoors at any time for the purpose of making payment. A tab system is recommended to ensure multiple indoor payments are not required.

• Face coverings: the guidance also clarifies that face coverings are only required in indoor settings–for both customers and staff in customer interacting roles. Customers will therefore need to wear a face-covering if passing through an indoor area to access the garden, to use the toilets or make a payment. Staff will need to be masked if interacting with customers indoors in public areas and other mask usage remains at the discretion of the employer. This is covered under6.2 of the guidance for pubs and restaurants, and guidance has been provided to local authorities on this point.

• Distancing: the distance is between tables –not people in a group on the same table. A group can consist of up to 6 people from mixed households, or two households. The Government Working Safely guidance states that you should: ‘reconfigure outdoor seating and tables to maintain social distancing guidelines (2m, or 1m+ with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable) between groups of customers. For example, increasing the distance between tables.’ This does not mean that there needs to be a 2m distance between people who are in a table group.

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