The agenda had already been set on Monday by the government’s health and science leaders when Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance addressed the nation with a diagnosis of where we are with Covid-19.
Last night Boris Johnson spoke to the nation with his prescriptive measures to combat the spread of Covid-19.
The main headlines for the hospitality industry in England was further restrictions on trade.
Businesses selling food or drink (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants), social clubs, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement arcades (and other indoor leisure centres or facilities), funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls, must be closed between 10pm and 5am. This will include takeaways, but delivery services can continue after 10pm (from 24 September).
In licensed premises, food and drink must be ordered 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 (from 24 September).
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 24 September).
Businesses and organisations will face stricter rules to make their premises COVID Secure (from 28 September):
A wider range of leisure and entertainment venues, services provided in community centres, and close contact services will be subject to the COVID-19 Secure requirements in law and 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.
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 (from 24 September).
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.
Guidance stating that face coverings and visors should be worn in close contact services will now become law (from 24 September).
Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies and receptions will be restricted to a maximum of 15 people (down from 30). Other significant standalone life events will be subject to the ‘rule of six’ limits, except funerals (from 28 September).
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.
The spread of the virus is also affecting our ability to reopen business conferences, exhibition halls and large sporting events, so we will not be able to do this from 1 October.
The government’s expectation is the measures described above will need to remain in place until March.
These measures apply to England.
The announcements from Boris Johnson can be seen in full in the video below by Sky News.
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