The sector must treat test and trace as a key part of its approach to reopening, or risk guidelines being “significantly strengthened” going forward, industry trade bodies have warned.

In an open letter to members, UK Hospitality, the British Beer and Pub Association and the British Institute of Innkeeping have urged operators to adopt a “robust procedure” for taking consumer contact details, that “not only enables the NHS to identify and quickly limit the spread of any COVID-19 outbreaks, but is also essential in underpinning continued consumer confidence in hospitality as a sector.”

The trade bodies said that in order to continue building momentum, proactively engaging consumers in venues’ new ways of working will be a “business critical issue,” adding that the responsibility remains with businesses to limit table sizes – taking bookings for a maximum of two households – and understand the consequences of not adhering to the guidance.

“As always, the majority are playing their part, but with recent reports of hospitality venues not asking for these basic details on arrival, the reality for our industry is that these guidelines will be significantly strengthened and may soon become mandatory in England, as with Wales and Scotland,” they said.

“Not explicitly delivering these requirements, will increasingly lead to a real risk of significant business disruption.”

“There are many methods that can be used to collate the simple data required for Test & Trace, and we have seen widespread support from consumers when it comes to providing those details,” added UK Hospitality CEO Kate Nicholls.

“We must come together as a sector to show how committed we are to ensuring the continued safety of our customers and teams, at a time where we are seeing a huge surge in customer numbers with customers taking advantage of the “Enjoy Summer Safely” campaign.”