New regulations for hospitality businesses on the 'Rule of 6', NHS QR code posters, and contact logs

The Government has announced that from 18 September 2020, hospitality venues in England are legally required to enforce the rule of 6 or face a fine of up to £4,000. These venues will now 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.

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