Operators are being advised by to keep a temporary record of customers and visitors for 21 days, to help assist the NHS Test and Trace scheme.
Businesses that do not already have a booking system for recording their customers and visitors “should do so to help fight the virus”, according to new guidance.
The government said it would work with industry and relevant bodies to design a system in line with data protection legislation, and set out details shortly.
According to the newly published document, ‘Keeping workers and customers safe during covid-19 in restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services’, indoor table service must be used where possible, alongside further 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 appropriately.
Where bar or counter service is unavoidable, customers should be prevented from remaining at the bar or counter after ordering.
Operators should take steps to ensure people do not gather in groups of more than 30 people, which is against the law.
Venues should not permit live performances, including drama, comedy and music, to take place in front of a live audience.
This helps mitigate the risks of aerosol transmission from either the performer or their audience.
Businesses should consider the cumulative impact of many venues re-opening in a small area, and are advised to work with local authorities, neighbouring businesses and travel operators to assess this risk and applying additional mitigations.
Mitigations could include further lowering capacity, as even if it is possible to safely seat a number of people inside a venue, it may not be safe for them all to travel or enter that venue.
Other advised measures include staggering entry times with other venues and taking steps to avoid queues building up in surrounding areas.
Staff are expected to maintain the new social distancing guidelines (2m, or 1m with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable) “wherever possible”, including arriving at and departing from work, while in work and when travelling between sites.
Employers should space out working areas to maintain distancing guidelines “as much as possible”, recognising the difficulty of moving equipment such as sinks, hobs and ovens.
Operators should consider cleanable panels to separate working areas in larger kitchens.
Venues should ensure that steps are taken to avoid people needing to unduly raise their voices to each other, by refraining from playing music or broadcasts that may encourage shouting.
This is because of the potential for increased risk of transmission, particularly from aerosol transmission.
The guidance says workplaces should not encourage the precautionary use of PPE, unless in a situation where the risk of coronavirus transmission is very high.
Risk assessment should reflect the fact that the role of PPE in providing additional protection is “extremely limited”.
However, if risk assessments show PPE is required, this must be provided free and must fit, while staff and customers who wish to wear face coverings should be free to do so.
Failure to complete a risk assessment which takes account the virus could constitute a breach of health and safety law.
Serious breaches could constitute a criminal offence, punishable by substantial fines and imprisonment for up to two years.
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Covid secure guidelines for operators published
Operators are being advised by to keep a temporary record of customers and visitors for 21 days, to help assist the NHS Test and Trace scheme. According to the newly published guidelines, businesses should consider the cumulative impact of many venues re-opening in a small area. Venues should not permit live performances in front of a live audience, and should take steps to avoid people needing to raise their voices to each other with loud music or broadcasts. Workplaces are not encouraged to use PPE unless the risk of covid-19 transmission is very high.