Face mask announcement underlines safety of hospitality venues

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Face mask announcement underlines safety of hospitality venues says UKH

Related tags ukhospitality Government Coronavirus

UKHospitality has hailed the wide-ranging exemptions for hospitality venues as 'a tribute to the robust nature of the sector’s Coronavirus safety measures'.

However, the trade association bemoaned the short notice given by the Government that it will be compulsory for people to wear face masks when buying takeaway​ food and drink from cafés or restaurants in England.

Face masks are set to become mandatory in shops and supermarkets across England from today (24 July), with anyone failing to comply liable to face a fine of up to £100.

Since the announcement came earlier this month that they would become compulsory, there has been significant criticism levelled at the Government over a lack of clarity on what spaces they will or will not be compulsory in.

Under guidance that wasn't published until yesterday (23 July), it was confirmed that dine-in customers will not be required to wear face masks, but those buying food and drink to take away from cafes and restaurants would. 

“Venues have made a huge effort to get themselves open to customers and ensure that premises are safe for staff and customers," says UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls.

"That has been reflected in the guidance which makes the bulk of hospitality exempt from the mandatory wearing of masks.

“Unfortunately, the announcement lacked clarity around many issues affecting outlets offering both takeaway and on-premises dining.

"Furthermore, with the announcement [made] at around 2.30pm the day before the measures come into effect, it left those venues a very short time to properly brief staff, prepare signage and take steps to encourage compliance.

“UKH has acted swiftly to provide a briefing on face coverings, to provide some much-needed clarity to operators. It is being posted on the coronavirus page of our website and updated as additional information emerges.”

A full breakdown of the Government's rules around the wearing of face masks, created by UKHospitality, can be found here​. 

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