Data collection becomes a legal requirement for pubs

This afternoon we have heard from the Prime Minister making further changes to the current pandemic restrictions affecting us all. This has real implications for our pubs with new rules that are now enforceable in law with both potential fines and closure of venues that are not COVID Secure.
The Prime Minister has stated that the rule changes from Monday 14th September are to simplify the current position with ‘the rule of six’ which limits the size of groups both in the inside and outside spaces of our pubs. 

As he stated in the press conference this afternoon:

"This single measure replaces both the existing ban on gatherings of more than 30 and the current guidelines on allowing 2 households to meet indoors. Now you need only remember the rule of 6."

Also with yesterday’s news of Bolton going into a localised lockdown in addition to today’s announcement, the focus for us as an industry must now be on maintaining the professional standards and best practice we have established over the last 2 months.

As one of the key sectors assisting the NHS with the Test & Trace programme, we have provided information that has proved key to ensuring localised outbreaks can be quickly identified and dealt with.

The critical importance of this programme has now been reinforced through a legal requirement for pubs to obtain the details of the party lead of any group, maintain these details for 21 days and provide a rapid response to the Test & Trace team when required.

This is not just about delivering this now legal requirement consistently, but also to maintain the customer confidence that we have seen restored through the better than expected August trading that many experienced. This will remain an essential part of the new way for hospitality businesses to operate, whether using pen and paper or employing a technical solution using apps and Wifi logins. 

There is an opportunity to use this new interaction with pub customers to not only meet COVID requirements but to gain valuable information that could be used to support you in rebuilding your businesses.

Yesterday we sent out a joint survey in conjunction with the BBPA and UKH to help assess the challenges facing the entire hospitality sector. Thank you in advance for your contribution, as the information gathered will be vital in pushing for further support from the Government ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn statement.

We also shared data on the success of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which had a considerable impact on restoring consumer confidence over the Summer, even in venues which did not take part in the scheme. Whilst this has provided a much needed boost, with the scheme now at an end, families returning to school and work and colder weather restricting numbers outside venues, we are heading into a very uncertain period.

We continue to work closely, not only with Government and the other trade bodies, but with our Trusted Partners, who can provide help, guidance, support and more for you and your pubs. At the bottom of this email is a reminder of the practical help you have access to as a BII Member, through our team here at Head Office and our wider Trusted Partner network.

As we navigate through the complex issues surrounding COVID-19, we will continue to call on Government for further support for our vibrant industry to ensure we can survive as the heart of our communities, providing employment, revenue and the human connection that we all so desperately need.

As you would expect from your BII Team, we will update you with any further clarification on any requirements that you will need to address.

Steven Alton

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