Regulations come into force today (18 September) in England to ensure that businesses comply with the rule of 6 and maintain social distancing between customers.
- businesses failing to comply could be issued with fines of up to £4,000
- designated venues will also will now have a legal requirement to maintain records of customer contact details and display an official NHS QR code poster ahead of the rollout of the NHS COVID-19 app.
Designated businesses and organisations, including hospitality, close contact services and leisure venues, will also be legally required to log details of customers, visitors and staff for NHS Test and Trace; from Thursday 24 September they will be required to display official NHS QR code posters under law ahead of the NHS COVID-19 app being rolled out nationally next week.
- From Friday 18 September, pubs, bars, cafes, restaurants and other leisure venues in England will now need to advise customers of their obligation to wear a face covering when necessary, take bookings of no more than 6 people, ensure people are not meeting in groups of more than 6 people on their premises, and make sure there is sufficient space between tables.
- It will also be mandatory for a wider range of businesses and organisations, including hospitality, close contact services and leisure venues to collect customer, visitor and staff contact detail logs from Friday 18 September. This is vital for the NHS Test and Trace service in England to contact the necessary people if coronavirus outbreaks are identified in venue.
- From Thursday 24 September, these businesses will also need to display the official NHS QR code posters to make it easier for people to check-in at different premises once the app is rolled out nationally. If individuals choose to check-in using the QR code poster they do not need to log in via any other route.
The regulations will be enforced by Local Authorities, who will have the power to issue fines of up to £1,000 for venues that are failing to comply, or the police as a last resort. Fines will rise to up to £4,000 for repeat offenders.
Businesses will be expected to make sure their customers are aware of the rules by displaying posters and signs and speaking to customers directly.
Services included in the new legal requirements are:
- hospitality, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés
- tourism and leisure, including gyms, swimming pools, hotels, museums, cinemas, zoos and theme parks
- close contact services, including hairdressers, and children’s centres.