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Government publishes hospitality reopening guidance

24 June 2020 by
Government publishes hospitality reopening guidance

The government has released its guidance for restaurants, hotels, accommodation and leisure businesses reopening from 4 July.

The report, which can be found here, contains advice around social distancing for workers, cleaning, PPE, face covering and managing customers.

On the introduction of table service, the report encourages the use of contactless ordering from tables where possible, for example through an ordering app.

It suggests "adjusting table service approaches to minimise staff contact with customers" and states: "Indoor table service must be used where possible, alongside measures such as assigning a single staff member per table. Outdoor table service should also be encouraged, although customers are permitted to stand outside if distanced properly."

Where bar or counter service is unavoidable, operators should prevent customers from remaining at the bar or counter after ordering.

Hospitality investor and founder of the Free the Pint campaign Charlie McVeigh wrote on Twitter: "In general, I think it is as good as it can be. The key is that they are allowing venues to make their own plan for enforcement.

"Pubs and restaurants will clearly not re-open ‘as they were', but then it would clearly not be appropriate for them to do so right now, not least because the polling shows customers want reassurance.

"The biggest concern I have is around zealot-councils and their EHO storm-troopers. Brits are not very biddable about sitting down in pubs. I think this could be a flash-point in terms of enforcement."

Others were less receptive, including Stosie Madi, owner of the Parkers Arms in Lancashire, who called the guidance "long and muddled".

Manchester restaurateur Simon Wood, meanwhile, questioned the timing of the government's planned reopening day.

"I for one will not be choosing a Saturday night to open! It's foolish," he said.

Guidance in brief

  • Limiting capacity to the number of customers that can "reasonably enable social distancing", taking into account total floorspace and pinch points.
  • Encourage customers to use hand sanitiser or handwashing facilities as they enter the premises.
  • Implement clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets, showers, lockers and changing rooms.
  • Operators should prevent large gatherings or mass events.
  • Operators should work with local authorities, neighbouring businesses and travel operators to assess any risks connected with the cumulative impact of their openings.
  • Keep a temporary record of customers and visitors for 21 days to assist test and trace.
  • Increase the frequency of hand washing and surface cleaning and provide hand sanitiser.
  • Use back-to-back or side-to-side working wherever possible for employees and use screens and barriers to separate them.
  • Use fixed teams or partnering to reduce the number of different people to which employees are exposed.
  • Introduce one-way systems.
  • Workplaces should not encourage the precautionary use of extra PPE outside clinical settings, such as hospitals.
  • Shared facilities such as dormitories, guest kitchens and TV rooms where social distancing cannot be managed should remain closed.
  • Shared showers and toilets can remain in adherence to strict guidelines.

The guidance can be found here.

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