Hospitality rules & the Birmingham, Sandwell & Solihull lockdown

As you will know, the Government have placed additional lockdown measures in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull. These measures start today and restrict people from visiting other’s homes and gardens in a bid to reduce the rate of Covid-19.

In addition to this, “the rule of six” came in to play in England where you can not meet in groups of more than 6 people. In Wales, the “rule of Six” will only apply to people meeting indoors and all six people must all belong to the same “extended household group”. Outside, people in Wales will still be able to meet in groups of up to 30 under existing social distancing rule. In Scotland, the six people can only be from a maximum of two households. However, like Wales, children under the age of 12, who are part of the two households will not count towards the limit of six people.

Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull councils have now released a joint statement that gives more information about what is expected from businesses in our sector in line with the new rules. You can read the statement below:

Joint Statement on Hospitality sector from Birmingham, Sandwell & Solihull Councils

Across Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull we are seeing cases of Covid-19 rise and therefore it is essential that hospitality venues take all possible steps to ensure customers are safe when visiting.

From Monday there are enhanced requirements to hold registers of individuals attending premises to support NHS test and trace and we are working hard to support businesses to protect staff and customers in the current climate.

In light of the growing case numbers across our areas we recommend that the following guidelines are considered essential to a covid-19 safe premises risk assessment in hospitality given the current level of cases across our local areas, and to avoid further restrictions:

  • Indoor table service must be used alongside measures assigning a single staff member to specific table(s) to avoid mixing of staff between tables.
  • Outdoor table service must also be provided if there is outside space and customers must either be standing within assigned spaces to ensure no mixing between groups of 6 or seated at tables.
  • Contact between kitchen workers and front of house workers must be avoided. For example, by having zones from which front of house staff can collect food.
  • Toilets must be supported by making hand sanitiser available on entry to toilets where safe and practical, and the adoption of a limited entry approach, with 1 in, 1 out (whilst avoiding the creation of additional bottlenecks). A visible cleaning schedule must be displayed and toilets should be cleaned more regularly than usual. Hand sanitiser should also be visible at all entry points to premises.
  • Providing written or spoken communication of the latest guidelines to both workers and customers inside and outside the venue. You should display posters or information setting out how customers should behave at your venue to keep everyone safe. Consider the particular needs of those with protected characteristics, such as those who are hearing or visually impaired.
  • Within the premises risk management have a clear approach to ensuring social distancing and no mixing between social groups in queues and in outdoor smoking areas.
  • If you are notified or become aware of COVID cases linked to your premises, you must comply fully with contract tracing and testing requirements and any action needed to control outbreaks
  • Face visors do not provide adequate protection on their own and have been linked to outbreaks. If you chose to use, these, staff must also wear a face mask. Face masks should be worn if staff are less than 2m from customers or other staff.

They have also included information on what you should expect from your customers:

Customers must:

  • Comply with all measures that you are asked to take by hospitality venues.
  • Wash your hands or use hand gel before and after going out and regularly when you are out, particularly after contact with door-handles, light switches, taps etc.
  • Maintain social distancing at all times, including when coming in and out of venues.
  • NOT visit venues if you have any signs of COVID or concerns about any symptoms you have
  • Give the correct details to the venue so you can be contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
  • Wear a mask in any crowded or narrow areas and if you are requested to do so.
  • Use your judgement about where you go and how much you go out.

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