Coronavirus Roadmap Advice to Hospitality Sector

This information applies to the Hospitality Sector (E.g. pubs, restaurants, cafes and hotels)
 

Implications for hospitality venues located in Surrey Heath

Following the recent Government announcement of the “roadmap” out of Lockdown, the “COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021” was published on the 22 February 2021.
 
The comprehensive document sets out 4 steps to the lifting of restrictions, with a projected final date of no earlier than 21 June where it is hoped the majority of restrictions on the way we live our lives and run our businesses will be lifted.
 
The information provided is based on the information and guidance that we have received from government and we will provide updates as further information and clarification is announced.
 
Further general information and guidance from Government can be found here Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance and support - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
 

The Roadmap – this webpage will only consider the first 2 steps, up to the 12 April

Step 1 (8 & 29 March)

The main changes announced here are the return of schools, changes to who and how many people can meet outdoors in public spaces, opening of outside sports and leisure facilities and relaxations on child care arrangements. This is the only step in the road map that is not preceded by the caution of a “no earlier than” warning to draw attention to the fact these are not absolute, confirmed dates and therefore may change if the infection rate is not going in the right direction
 

Step 2 (No earlier than 12 April)

This is the first step in the road map to re-open a significant number of businesses. The following businesses and activities can re-open:
 
  • All retail shops and businesses
  • Personal care (close contact services such as hairdressers, tattooists, nail bars etc)
  • Libraries
  • Most outdoor attractions
  • Indoor leisure services for individual use (e.g. Gyms)
  • Self -Contained accommodation (single household use only)
  • All children’s activities
  • Outdoor hospitality (pubs, restaurants, cafes etc)
  • Indoor parent and child groups (up to 15 parents)
This briefing will focus on advice and guidance to the hospitality sector opening outside areas on or after the 12th April – subject to confirmation from Government that this date has not changed.
 

Outdoor Hospitality

This is the first step in the reopening of pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants for consumption of food and drink on the premises.
 
There will be no restrictions on opening hours (other than any specific planning or licensing restrictions that may apply) and for sale of alcohol. There will not be a requirement to purchase a substantial meal with a drink.
 
However, the following restrictions and limitations will apply to all hospitality businesses:
 
  • NHS Test and Trace – contact details must be collected from each individual who are 16 years old and above. 
  • If the customers do not wish to use NHS app or does not have the NHS app, then contact details must be collected/recorded manually or electronically and must be kept for 21 days. 
  • Business must take reasonable steps to refuse entry to a customer or visitor who does not provide their name and contact details or who has not scanned the NHS QR code.
  • Outdoor service only – if there is any structure with ceiling or roof, it must be at least 50% open to the air
  • Table service only - the requirement to order, eat and drink while seated (‘table service’) will remain
  • Groups must be limited to 6 people or 2 households - if you have a booking for 8 people, you should confirm if they are from 2 household prior. 
  • Social Distancing requirements will apply (2m or reduction to 1m with mitigation e.g Perspex screen, back to back seating)
  • Customers to wear face covering when passing through permitted indoor areas e.g. for toilet usage. Outdoor hospitality will need to make sure that customers are not congregated in one space while waiting to use toilet facilities or should not be mingling inside. The toilet facilities should be cleaned regularly.
 
We expect there will be further guidance and clarification issued over the coming weeks to help determine how the measures and controls will be applied, but it may be expected the previous interpretation and advice will still apply such as:
 
  • Reduction in the 2m Social Distancing separation between customers will require additional steps, or mitigation. Where screens are used between customers from different groups or households, separation can be reduced to 1m only if the screen is substantial, providing good separation lengthways and above head height. 
  • 1m between customers – only with mitigation. Please remember that when measuring distances this is between customers and not measured table edge to table edge. 
  • Side by side seating is not considered to offer any substantial mitigation and therefore separation must remain at 2m
  • Controlling customers as they queue to enter, to leave or use the toilet must be considered and controlled. Floor markings, one-way systems and good signage must be in place and staff must be briefed in advance
  • Face coverings must be worn by staff and customers when passing through indoor areas (unless an exemption applies)
  • Recording customer details for Test and Trace manually or using the NHS QR poster. We understand it will remain mandatory to display the NHS poster and this will need to be positioned somewhere easily accessible for customers and where it does not cause a pinch point for queuing. You are advised to display a number of the posters around your venue.

Support

The Council is here to help with advice and support where we can. Please refer to our website for latest information on Covid controls and guidance. We are also happy to answer specific questions or offer clarifications where we can. Please e-mail your enquiries or concerns to environmental.health@surreyheath.gov.uk. We expect the Government will issue further guidance on how businesses can reopen in line with the roadmap, and please remember that the dates will be subject to Government review and are not fixed – they are “No Earlier Than” dates.
 

Future dates and forward planning 

As already mentioned, please keep in mind that the dates mentioned in the roadmap are provisional dates. This means the Government will monitor the number of new Covid cases and if the numbers start to rise again, the dates may be delayed or local restrictions may be imposed.
 
We are all hopeful the dates will not move, and that by the 21 June, most restrictions will have been lifted. But there is no guarantee this will be the case. 
 
Therefore we advise all businesses to be cautious before committing to future events, particularly if this includes ticketed events or where there is a financial commitment. If one date is delayed, this will delay all dates.
 
We wish you success with your reopening plans.