12 APRIL 2021 – Reopening for Outdoor Dining – England, UK

Clarity of the most up to date rules are especially important after wildly differing – and often incorrect – interpretations. Make you and your staff familiar so your reopening process runs smooth.
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  • Review your COVID-19 risk assessment to ensure that all relevant mitigations are in place and that staff are aware of surrounding responsibility and 
  • Display a NHS QR Code poster for all customers as well as an alternative method for recording customer contact details. Customers details must be collected, via the app or otherwise, before they place an order.
  • All customers (16+) must provide their details for Test and Trace. You must take reasonable steps to refuse entry to those who refuse to check in or provide false details. You do not have to check customers’ phones at the moment (further confirmation awaits on this) if they use the NHS app, but in every case you should satisfy yourself they have checked in; doing so by asking if they have checked in. 
  • Customers are only allowed indoors to: walk to the outdoor area, use the toilet, baby change and breast feeding facilities or make payment at the bar as a last resort. Customers must wear face coverings indoors and not loiter or congregate.
  • Face coverings by staff are only mandatory in indoor areas. Face coverings do not need to be worn outdoors by staff or customers. 
  • Outdoor seating and tables should be reconfigured to maintain social distancing guidelines (2m, or 1m+ with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable) between groups of customers. Governments have confirmed that social distancing applies between tables, not within groups sitting at tables. 
  • Customers must be seated at a table to order, be served and consume their food and/or drink in venues serving alcohol. Ideally payment should also be taken at table, however as a last resort (and only if not possible outdoors) payment can be taken indoors.
  • A substantial meal does not have to be ordered in order to be able to drink alcohol. 
  • Groups must be a maximum of 6 people, but can be more than 6 if comprised from only one or two households. 
  • Outdoor structures must follow the same rules as smoking shelters – 50% or more of the sides must be open – in order to be classed as “outdoors”.
  • You can offer background music and television outside, if it is kept at a reasonable volume and shouting/singing/chanting is prevented. Incidental live music is permitted.
  • Customers making takeaway purchases are exempt from both Test and Trace and the requirement to be seated whilst ordering but their purchase must be consumed off-premise (including outside of adjacent areas)

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