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New measures and how they could affect businesses

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A number of new measures have been announced by the government alongside new legal requirements for businesses to observe the Rule of 6 and display NHS Test and Trace QR codes.

We’ve pulled together the key points below which we hope you will find useful.

Additional measures announced  on Tuesday 22 September

From Wednesday 23 September, office workers who are able to work from home should do so and the requirement for customers to wear face coverings will be extended to all users of taxis and private hire vehicles.

From Thursday 24 September measures include the following:

  • pubs, bars and restaurants must operate table-service only, except for takeaways
  • hospitality venues must close at 10pm (which means closing, not last orders). The same will apply to takeaways, although deliveries can continue
  • the requirement to wear face coverings will be extended to include retail staff and staff and customers in indoor hospitality, except when seated at a table to eat or drink
  • covid-secure guidelines will become legal obligations in retail, leisure, tourism and other sectors

Furthermore, from Monday 28 September a maximum of 15 people may attend weddings, while 30 may attend funerals. Business conferences, exhibitions and large sporting events will not be reopened from 1 October.

These new measures will be enforced by tighter penalties.

The Prime Minister’s statement is available on GOV.UK.

Rule of 6 and NHS Test and Trace QR codes

Rule of 6

Pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants must take bookings of no more than six people, ensure people are not meeting in groups of more than six people on their premises (regardless of age) and make sure there is sufficient space between tables.

More guidance and information (including exemptions) is available on the GOV.UK website.

Test and Trace QR codes

From Thursday (24 September) hospitality, close contact services and leisure venues will be required by law to display official NHS QR code posters to make it easier for people to check-in at different premises once the app is rolled out nationally.

This is in addition to the legal requirement to collect customer, visitor and staff contact detail logs which became law on Friday (18 September).

If individuals choose to check-in using the QR code poster they do not need to log in via any other route.

Instructions on how to get your QR code and advice on how to display it are available on the NHS website. 

Full details of the NHS Test and Trace service is on the GOV.UK website.

Does this include my business?

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
  • facilities provided by local authorities, including town halls and civic centres (for events), libraries and children’s centres

A detailed list of which businesses are included on the GOV.UK website.

What if I don’t?

Fines of up to £1,000 may be issued for venues that are failing to comply. Fines will rise to up to £4,000 for repeat offenders.

The announcement is available in full on the GOV.UK website.

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