New Covid-19 secure guidance for the hospitality sector and hairdressers means businesses will be able to reopen from Saturday, provided they meet government criteria for keeping staff and customers as safe as possible.
The new guidance sets out a range of measures for pubs and restaurants to become Covid-19 secure, including:
The government’s official guidance states: ‘Indoor table service must be used where possible. Outdoor table service should also be encouraged though customers are permitted to stand outside if distanced appropriately.’
The guidelines do not explicitly forbid customers from ordering at the bar, but strongly suggests establishments should ‘prevent customers from remaining at the bar or counter after ordering’.
Encouraging use of contactless ordering from tables where available, such as through an app.
Music and entertainment
The guidelines explicitly state that venues should ensure that guests aren’t needing to raise their voices or lean in to hear one another. "This includes, but is not limited to, refraining from playing music or broadcasts that may encourage shouting, including if played at a volume that makes normal conversation difficult."
The guidance warns venues they "should not permit live performances, including drama, comedy and music, to take place in front of a live audience".
The concern around dancing is obviously the close contact to one another and singing carries the risk of droplets potentially carrying coronavirus travelling further.
Groups of six
When sitting inside pubs or restaurants, people will be allowed to gather at a social distance in groups of six, with a maximum of two households involved.
The six-person limit remains in beer gardens, but friends from more than two households are allowed to gather.
Track and trace
Pubs are being advised to help NHS Test and Trace by keeping a temporary record of customers for 21 days. This will help in contacting people if there's a breakout of the virus again, potentially reducing it spreading further.
30 people indoors
There should be no more than 30 people insude the pub, regardless of the capacity of the building.
There will be a 'one in, one out' rule in pubs to limit entry to the facilities
Pubs are also being ask to discourage non-essential trups by staff within venues, such as between the kitchen and front of house, by using radios etc to communicate.
Customers are advised to use hand sanitiser or other hand washing facilities when entering the venue.
There should also be clear guidance on social distancing.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: "We know this pandemic has been particularly hard for people working in hairdressing and hospitality. Allowing pubs, restaurants and hairdressers to open will be another step in our plan to kickstart our economic recovery in a safe manner.
"The guidance we have set out provides clear, practical steps businesses can take to open in a way that is as safe as possible for workers and customers."
Separate guidance has been published for hairdressers, which states that a clear visor should be worn by the person providing the service, covering the face and providing a barrier between the wearer and the customer from respiratory droplets caused by sneezing, coughing or speaking.