UKHospitality welcomes 'pragmatic and flexible' reopening guidance

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

UKHospitality welcomes 'pragmatic and flexible' restaurant and pub Coronavirus reopening guidance

Related tags ukhospitality Restaurant Pub Coronavirus Government

Trade body UKHospitality has 'warmly welcomed' the Government guidance published earlier today (24 June), which advises operators on how to make their business 'Covid secure' as they plan for reopening.

Split across eight defined sections, the guidance gives businesses direction on how to keeping staff and customers safe​ while the Coronavirus remains in general circulation.

This includes advice on social distancing for workers; cleaning the workplace; keeping customers and visitors safe; and the use of PPE and face coverings.

UKHospitality says the report provides businesses with the flexibility to ensure that reopening is safe and effective.

“It is reassuring that the Government has understood the need for flexibility, demonstrating that they have listened to businesses," says UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls.

"The guidance is pragmatic and should a provide venues with enough versatility to suit their own unique circumstances. This is exactly what was needed to avoid restricting venues and making the job of reopening even harder.

“The emphasis is now going to be on businesses and customers to exercise some responsibility and ensuring that the guidance works optimally. Venues are acutely aware of the need to build up trust and consumer confidence, and make customers feel safe in their venues. Looking after our guests is the hospitality sector’s modus operandi, so we have plenty of experience in taking care of customers and I am confident we can rise to this challenge.

“We have been working closely with the Government to ensure that guidance is workable and effective in mitigating risks. This will mean that more businesses stay alive and as many jobs as possible kept secure.

“We are now looking forward to working closely with the Government to discuss how we can begin to open up other parts of the hospitality sector to make the reopening of our economy a success.”

Under the guidance, operators are being asked to keep a temporary record of all customers for 21 days; staff will be expected to stick to the new social distancing guidelines 'wherever possible' (ideally two metres, moving to 'one metre plus' if that is not viable); and table service should be encouraged both inside and outdoors.

Perhaps surprisingly, the guidance does not forbid customers from ordering at a bar or standing indoors while eating or drinking; and also says that workplaces 'should not' encourage the precautionary use of PPE, unless in a situation where the risk of Covid-19 transmission is very high.

To read the full guidance document, click here​.

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