First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that the 2-metre physical distancing rule had been changed to an optional 1-metre for the hospitality sector as long as businesses put in place “mitigations”. Yesterday the Government published an example of what would be expected in bars, pubs, restaurants and hotels.
• No standing – all customers seated
• Face coverings by staff
• Clear systems for safe ordering and payments
• Clear systems for safe use of toilet facilities
• Use of screens between seating areas
• Good ventilation
• Good signage
• Reduced noise measures e.g. no background music, to reduce the need for customers to shout
• Clear messaging on the need to provide contact details to support Test & Protect
The First Minister said, “Any changes to the physical distancing required should be simple enough to be effectively understood, implemented and followed. For example, clear signage will need to be in place to advise customers that they are entering a 1-metre zone so that people are aware both of the potentially increased transmission risk in such areas and that mitigations should be in place. In order to ensure effective implementation of mitigations, we must also ensure that appropriate processes and resources are in place. Furthermore, in many settings, additional staff training will be required. Workplace risk assessments must be undertaken where required. By way of example, depending on the specific setting, mitigations could include Perspex dividers; back-to-back seating; enhanced ventilation; face coverings; customer flow; restrictions on music in hospitality settings (leading to raised voices); and taking contact details for customers for contact-tracing purposes. Compliance with Test & Protect protocols will be critical.”
Now the Government will consult with the hospitality industry and will publish detailed guidance shortly ahead of opening on 15th July.
Meanwhile the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) and UKHospitality have issued joint guidance to businesses on supporting the Government’s track and trace customer registration scheme.
The guidance has been jointly produced by It aims to provide clarity to enable businesses to take positive steps towards achieving the scheme’s public health objectives, as well as businesses’ obligations and practical tips to implement a successful scheme.
The core principles of the scheme, its objectives and practical solutions are explained, including:
- What information should be recorded
- How the information should be recorded
- Relevant issues regarding GDPR.
In a joint statement, the trade bodies said, “There has been a significant amount of interest from both businesses and customers about the track and trace scheme and some confusion also.
“It is a core component of the safe reopening of businesses and it is something that all venues are going to have to get to grips with. This can help us to avoid a second spike and the disastrous consequences that would entail, for society and business.
“This guidance provides clear instructions to businesses on their obligations and reminds them why it is important that they make a success of the scheme. It is in the interests of everyone in the country that we all understand our role in the scheme and its importance in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Businesses are urged to read the guidance thoroughly and ensure that they have the proper procedures in place before they reopen their doors to customers. If they are unsure about any element, they should contact their trade association immediately.”