Pub, bar and restaurant owners and customers are being warned to keep following COVID-19 operating rules at hospitality outlets to ensure they keep staff and each other safe.
That’s the message from Rushcliffe Borough Council (RBC), Nottinghamshire County Council and Nottinghamshire Police who are urging all to be vigilant of restrictions following the government’s roadmap extension of step 3 to July 19 this week.
Sadly, it follows multiple breaches by outlets in recent weeks that have led to over £15,000 worth of fines as staff and customers were witnessed making major errors that put fellow consumers at risk.
They included taking indoor bookings for large groups, customers queuing in bar areas instead of receiving table service and face masks not being warn at the appropriate times.
Now with outlets continuing to see increased footfall in line with Euro 2020 games, owners and customers are reminded:
- Always use the premises’ NHS Track and Trace QR code or manually provide name and contact details. Checks are conducted on venues where there has been little or no QR code activity
- Do not queue in any bar or other area of a premises for drinks or food. Table service must be in place indoors and outdoors at all times.
- Do not mingle between tables
- Always wear a face mask when entering or exiting a premises and when not sat down such as when using toilet or baby changing facilities
- Do not leave food, such as sandwiches, for customers to eat in communal areas
- Be mindful if a venue is popular for screening Euro 2020 games and ensure restrictions continue to be met at all times to keep all customers safe
- No one should enter an outlet if they have any COVID-19 symptoms and immediately book a COVID-19 test at https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
Public Health Director for Nottinghamshire Jonathan Gribbin said: “In recent days we have seen a very sharp increase in the number of cases in some parts of Nottinghamshire including Rushcliffe.
“After all the hard work of people and businesses in Notts to keep people safe from COVID-19 it would be a tragedy if we allow the spread of the virus to turn into hospitalisations. So we need to stick with the COVID-19 restrictions that remain in place while we remain in Step 3.
“If you’re going out for a meal or a drink, check in with the Covid app or leave full contact details at the venue. Remember that only groups of six people or two households, can meet indoors.
“My thanks go to every hospitality venue doing what’s needed to keep their customers, staff and local community safe by sticking with the restrictions through to the end of the Roadmap.”
RBC and Police are continuing to actively support the hospitality sector with its guide at www.rushcliffe.gov.uk/businesscoronavirus that outlines venues’ responsibilities and how to receive support to safely welcome customers.
In April and May it sent over 200 premises across the Borough this vital information government set out on how to operate in a COVID secure way, as restrictions lifted.
Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Environment and Safety Cllr Rob Inglis said: “We know it’s been such a tough time for businesses over the last 16 months. We are working with and supporting them but they and customers are warned they must continue to follow the rules to protect one another.
“The vast majority of businesses are doing a good job but it’s been exceptionally disheartening to see some let standards slip and when that happens we are left with no option but to impose fines in line with central government laws.
“Should owners have any doubts as to their obligations to operate securely, particularly table service and for all customers to embrace and abide by these guidelines, our Environmental Health and Licensing teams are ready with assistance. Email email@example.com or call 0115 981 9911.”
Rushcliffe Inspector Craig Berry said: “We know the difficult position business owners are in and we will continue visiting businesses during Euro 2020 football matches, chatting with owners and customers and showing our support, we want to help keep everyone safe.
“It’s not about catching businesses out but supporting them to do their jobs if they face challenges to the rules.
“We want to work with them and support Rushcliffe Borough Council and authorities across Nottinghamshire if any flagrant breaches occur and how everyone can learn to not repeat mistakes.
“It’s vital we get this right and we ask customers to play their part by taking responsibility, particularly when footfall in pubs is heightened by football matches.”