In this bulletin see the new regulations for venues and hospitality businesses that come into force today requiring businesses to enforce the rule of six, NHS QR code posters and contact logs. Also details of the restrictions announced today for areas in the North West, West Yorkshire and Midlands that come into force from Tuesday 22 September and further guidance for businesses in the North East of England.

New regulations for hospitality businesses and venues to enforce the rule of 6, NHS QR code posters and contact logs

The Government has announced that from today, 18 September, hospitality venues in England are legally required to enforce the rule of 6 or face a fine of up to £4,000. Also from today these venues will also be legally required to log details of customers, visitors and staff for NHS Test and Trace and from Thursday 24 September they will be required to display official NHS QR code posters under law ahead of the NHS COVID-19 app being rolled out nationally on 24 September. 

Services included in the new legal requirements are: 

  • Hospitality, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés
  • Tourism and leisure, including gyms, swimming pools, hotels, museums, cinemas, zoos and theme parks 
  • Close contact services
  • Facilities provided by local authorities, including town halls and civic centres (for events), libraries and children’s centres  

Further details:

  • From 18 September, pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants in England will now need to take bookings of no more than 6 people, ensure people are not meeting in groups of more than 6 people on their premises, and make sure there is sufficient space between tables.
  • The regulations will be enforced by Local Authorities, who will have the power to issue fines of up to £1,000 for venues that are failing to comply, or the police as a last resort. Fines will rise to up to £4,000 for repeat offenders.
  • Businesses will be expected to make sure their customers are aware of the rules around QR codes by displaying posters and speaking to customers directly.
  • It will be an offence for a business to fail to adhere to the rule of 6 (respecting all exceptions to this) when taking a booking, allowing entry to a group of more than 6 people. Once groups are within the premises, businesses also risk offending if they fail to advise groups not to merge in ways that breach the rules. 
  • Businesses will also need to ensure adequate distance between tables (2m or 1m+) and prevent customers from dancing.
  • If individuals choose to check-in using the NHS COVID-19 app QR code poster they do not need to log in via any other route.
  • Information should be collected by the venue for those people that have not checked-in using the QR poster.

Businesses can create their coronavirus NHS QR code here.

Restrictions to be introduced in more areas in the North West, West Yorkshire and Midlands from Tuesday 22 September
In a statement today the Government announced that Lancashire, Merseyside, Warrington and Halton have been escalated to areas of intervention and that new restrictions will be introduced in Wolverhampton, Oadby and Wigston, and parts of Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale from Tuesday 22 September. Please see below the restrictions specific to each area (to see all the affected areas and wards please see the full announcement.)

North West
In Merseyside, Warrington, Halton and Lancashire (excluding Blackpool and Greater Manchester), regulations will enforce the following restrictions from Tuesday 22 September:

  • Residents must not socialise with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens
  • Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only
  • Late night operating hours will be restricted, with leisure and entertainment venues including restaurants, pubs, and cinemas, required to close between 10pm to 5am

Residents of these areas have also been advised to adhere to the following guidance:

  • To only to use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work
  • To avoid attending amateur and semi-professional sporting events as spectators

Please note: These changes do not apply to Bolton or Greater Manchester where separate restrictions are already in place.

The Midlands
In Wolverhampton and Oadby and Wigston residents will be banned from socialising with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens from 22 September.

West Yorkshire
Residents in all parts of Bradford, Kirklees, Calderdale, will be banned from socialising with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens, from 22 September. Some wards in these areas had been exempt from restrictions on gatherings introduced at the start of August, but these wards will now also be subject to the ban. 

Further guidance on restrictions in the North East of England
Following the announcement of restrictions in the North East of England yesterday further guidance for businesses and taking a holiday is available.

For businesses the guidance outlines that hospitality venues must only sell food and drink for consumption on the premises if it is served to customers sitting at a table. They may also sell food and drink for consumption off the premises. It details the list of businesses and venues that must close from 22:00 to 05:00 each day. It also says businesses and venues can still sell food and drinks for consumption off the premises between the hours of 22:00 to 05:00 but only for delivery service. See the full guidance for further details.

We’re Good to Go social media campaign

Do look out for the We’re Good to Go social media campaign that goes live on Monday, 21 September to support and raise consumer awareness of We’re Good To Go, please see the video on our Youtube channel. Feel free to share it across your own channels.

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