customers in hospitality venues must wear face coverings
On September 22, 2020, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced several additional measures in order to tackle Covid-19.
This comes amid an increase in infection rates both locally and nationally in recent weeks.
While no national lockdown was announced, Mr Johnson said that further restrictions would be implemented if the number of cases continued to rise.
The additional measures have led to a split among scientists. Government advisor Professor John Edmunds said they did not go “anywhere near far enough”.
However, other scientists have said that they hope they are a shift towards a coherent policy.
As part of the measures, it is critical that everybody observes the following:
- HANDS – Wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds.
- FACE – Cover your face in enclosed spaces, especially where social distancing may be difficult and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
- SPACE – Stay 2 metres apart where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place.
Mr Johnson spoke about various areas of change that have been made to combat Covid-19.
From September 23, 2020, customers in private hire vehicles and taxis must wear face coverings.
From September 24, 2020, customers in hospitality venues must wear face coverings, except when seated at a table to eat or drink. Staff in hospitality and retail will now also be required to wear face coverings.
People who are already exempt from the existing face-covering obligations, such as because of an underlying health condition, will continue to be exempt from these new obligations.
The guidance that face coverings and visors should be worn in close contact services will now become law.
Staff working on public transport and taxi drivers will continue to be advised to wear face coverings.
Those who do not wear a face-covering will be fined £200 for a first offence.
Working from Home
Office workers who can work from home should do so over the winter.
Public sector employees working essential services should continue to go into work where necessary.
Anyone else who cannot work from home should go to their place of work.
The risk of transmission can be substantially reduced if Covid-19 secure guidelines are followed closely. Extra consideration should be given to those people at higher risk.
From September 24, 2020, hospitality businesses like pubs and restaurants will now be closed from 10 pm. This includes takeaways but delivery services can continue after 10 pm.
In licensed premises, food and drink must be served from and served at a table.
Customers must eat and drink at a table in any premises selling food and drink to consume indoors, on-site.
Businesses will need to display the official NHS QR code posters so that customers can ‘check-in’ at different premises using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details once the app is rolled out nationally (from September 24).
Businesses and organisations will face stricter rules to make their premises Covid-19 Secure (from September 28).
A wider range of venues will be subject to the Covid-19 Secure requirements by law. There will be fines of up to £10,000 for repeated breaches.
Employers must not knowingly require or encourage someone who is being required to self-isolate to come to work.
Businesses must remind people to wear face coverings where mandated.
A maximum of 15 people will be able to attend wedding ceremonies and receptions. For funerals, up to 30 people can attend.
Indoor organised sport for over 18s will no longer be exempt from the rule of six. There is an exemption for indoor organised team sports for disabled people (from September 24).
There will be a new exemption in those areas of local intervention where household mixing is not allowed to permit friends and family to provide informal childcare for children under 14 (from September 24)
The Government has announced an initial £60 million to support additional enforcement activity by local authorities and the police in addition to funding that has already been awarded.
As a result of the increase in cases, business conferences and large sporting events will not reopen on October 1, 2020.
The measures may need to remain in place until March 2021.
These measures apply to England but there may be different rules if you live in an area under local lockdown and you should check local lockdown rules.
If you are in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, different rules may apply.