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Coronavirus: UK to issue new guidance for hospitality sector to reopen

Saleha Riaz
·2-min read
Young bartender girl in a medical mask pour green liquid from beaker into glass with ice. Medical mask for prophylaxis and protection from coronavirus COVID-19.
Young bartender girl in a medical mask pour green liquid from beaker into glass with ice. Medical mask for prophylaxis and protection from coronavirus COVID-19. Photo: Getty

UK’s ministers are set to announce guidelines next week to help the hospitality sector reopen in July, which includes beer gardens being patrolled to enforce social distancing, according to a leaked document seen by The Times.

Patrons will be discouraged from ordering drinks at the bar, instead they will be delivered to tables, spaced widely apart. Surfaces including door handles and bar counters will be cleaned at least every hour.

Ministers are also set to publish legislation allowing establishments to serve alcohol for customers to drink on the pavement and in the street.

There will be limits to the number of people allowed into pubs with markings on the floor to ensure social distancing.

In restaurants, laminated menus will be replaced with disposable menus and condiments will be served in sachets on request. Patrons may find a less extensive menu as kitchen staff try to minimise cross-contamination of ingredients.

As for hotels, guidelines include encouraging customers to take the lift instead of stairs and using room service instead of hotel restaurants.

READ MORE: 'Numerous' pub chiefs to defy government by reopening

If a guest falls ill while staying at a hotel, they will be asked to self-isolate in their room and meals will be sent to them in disposable plates.

In gyms and spas, booking systems will be put in place to prevent overcrowding.Machines will be spaced out and managers will be asked to enforce social distancing.
Physiotherapists, masseurs, pedicurists and manicurists will be asked to wear full protective gear.

Nightclubs are still a bit of a question marked. As the leaked document states, dance floors pose a big challenge.

In theme parks, rollercoasters will run below capacity to maintain social distancing. There will be no concerts, parades or any other performance involving crowds.

The draft guidance also warns businesses against providing detailed information about their queuing arrangements, saying that crowds may prove an “attractive target” to a “hostile entity”.

Meanwhile, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden told BBC Radio 4 that the review the prime minister ordered into the two-metre social distancing rule for England would be concluded “within the coming days”, while Whitehall officials confirmed the outcome is expected next week.

Boris Johnson is expected to make an announcement next week on pubs, cafes, restaurants and hotels – with their reopening in England an ambition from 4 July to start reviving the ailing economy.

With the coronavirus alert level having been reduced on Friday, the Prime Minister believes he has some space to relax measures in a boost for the sector.

READ MORE: London, Scotland and north east England SMEs worst hit by coronavirus