PUBS, restaurants and bars can reopen tomorrow for ‘Super Saturday’ as the nation comes out of “a long hibernation” – but heading out for a pint will look very different under the “new normal”.
Strict guidance tells pub and restaurant owners to prevent interaction between people in their venues – including clamping down on live music and ordering food and drinks through an app.
Government guidance has laid out plans for pubs to reopen without transmission of coronavirus soaring.
The PM said yesterday he was looking forward to the bustle to return to Britain’s streets as he announced most businesses would be able to reopen.
Mr Johnson told the House of Commons: “We will also re-open restaurants and pubs.
But he warned: “All hospitality indoors will be limited to table-service, and our guidance will encourage minimal staff and customer contact.”
The PM has refused to rule out bringing back a national lockdown if coronavirus cases start to rise again – so restaurants and pubs will have to follow strict rules to make sure people stick to social distancing.
The days of crowding around bars waiting to order are over in a “new normal” of pub visits.
Venues and being encouraged to be table-service only, and have guests order drinks and food through an app where possible.
The guidance said: “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 rule out ordering from the bar entirely, but warns venues should “prevent customers from remaining at the bar or counter after ordering”.
Pubs have been told to “encourage the use of contactless ordering from tables where available – for example, through an ordering app.”
The new rules mean people won’t be able to hang out at the bar after they’ve ordered, and will have to find a table or stand outside.
All meetings indoors must only be with no more than two households at a time.
Staff could also radio orders through to the kitchens to “reduce movement by discouraging non-essential trips within venues”.
Loud music and broadcasts
While both pubs and sports matches will have returned, Brits won’t be able to do both at the same time.
To discourage large groups of people coming together and yelling at TV screens or each other, broadcasts have been banned.
Loud music will also be banned to stop people having to shout to be heard by their friends.
The guidance says venues “should ensure that steps are taken to avoid people needing to unduly raise their voices to each other.
“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.
“This is because of the potential for increased risk of transmission, particularly from aerosol transmission.”
An end to open mics & live performances
Live music and performances won’t be allowed to continue under the new plans.
The guidance warns venues they “should not permit live performances, including drama, comedy and music, to take place in front of a live audience”.
Singing is a particular concerns – as droplets potentially carrying coronavirus could travel further as pub goers belt out their favourite songs.
Dancing is also out, pubs have been told to “take steps to prevent other close contact activities such as communal dancing”.
Ketchup bottles and cutlery kept off tables
Venues are being encouraged to use disposable condiment packets where possible to limit the spread of germs via surfaces.
Otherwise bottles need to be cleaned thoroughly after each use.
Cutlery won’t be laid out on tables unless people order food either.
The guidance says venues should “minimise customer self service of food, cutlery and condiments to reduce the risk of transmission.
“For example, providing cutlery and condiments only when food is served.”
All venues will need to keep a record of contact details
The guidance says businesses should help the NHS Test and Trace system by keeping a registry of patrons’ contact details for at least 21 days in case of an outbreak.
Venues are told to “assist (NHS Test and Trace) by keeping a temporary record of your customers and visitors for 21 days, in a way that is manageable for your business, and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed. This could help contain clusters or outbreaks.
“Many businesses that take bookings already have systems for recording their customers and visitors – including restaurants, hotels, and hair salons. If you do not already do this, you should do so to help fight the virus.”
If there is an outbreak, it will allow contact tracers to easily find out who was in a pub or restaurant at a particular time.
Inside spaces will be emptied out
Pubs and restaurants will have to reduce the number of people in venues at any one time to allow for social distancing – but also to discourage public transport use.
The new rules will ban groups of more than 30 people to form.
That means even if venues can have 60 people 2 metres apart they won’t be able to.
The guidance says: “Even if it is possible to safely seat a number of people inside a venue, it may not be safe for them all to travel or enter that venue.”
Venues in nearby areas will have to work together to stagger arrival and departure times to avoid massive queues forming close to each other.
Toilets which have been closed throughout the coronavirus crisis will reopen in pubs, restaurants and public places.
But they will have to be subject to strict hygiene restrictions and extra cleaning.
Venues are encouraged to use hand sanistiser where entering.
And pubs are urged to use a “limited entry approach” to toilets inside venues with a “one in one out” rule.