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Wednesday, Oct 20, 2021

UK: New pub rules after lockdown: No shouting, no loud music and no big groups

Pubs will be very different places to drink when they reopen on July 4, with no big groups, no raised voices and no loud music permitted.
Strict new government guidelines for the hospitality industry were published on Wednesday, posing big challenges for restaurants, bars, hotels, theme parks and hairdressers.

No live performances, loud music or TV will be allowed in pubs and restaurants in order to avoid people shouting, an action that could potentially increase the spread of coronavirus via aerosol transmission.

The guidance reads: ‘All venues should ensure that steps are taken to avoid people needing to unduly raise their voices to each other.

‘This includes, but is not limited to, refraining from playing music or broadcasts that may encourage shouting, including if played at a volume that makes normal conversation difficult.’

When sitting inside pubs or restaurants, people will be allowed to gather at a social distance in groups of six, with a maximum of two households involved.

The six person limit remains in pub gardens, although friends from more than two households will be allowed to socialise.

Drinkers are banned from standing at the bar and will enjoy table service, with limits to how many people can gather inside and outside.

Police still have the power to break up ‘large and irresponsible’ gatherings, Downing Street has confirmed.

It follows an announcement that all venues will be expected to keep a record of people who visit to enable contact tracing.

The chief executive of UKHospitality, Kate Nicholls has named the new data collection rules ‘incredibly challenging’.

She said: ‘With 11 days to go it is just not practical to develop a new system in one fell swoop.’

Chief executive of the BBPA, Emma McClarkin added: ‘We do have significant concerns over the collection and storage of personal customer data.’

The government has told restaurants to replace condiment bottles with sachets and announced that cutlery should only be brought to the table with the food.

Meanwhile, customers at hotels are expected to wear masks in the corridors and avoid lifts, while room services will be left outside on trays.

Staggered check-in times will take place to avoid contact, while those sharing bathrooms may be required to reserve shower times.

Those gettings their hair cut will wear disposable gowns during their slot, while their hairdresser will wear a visor.

An appointment-only system is encouraged, while alternate chairs must be closed off and face-to-face procedures banned.

All establishments will be expected to follow basic hygiene requirements, with hand sanitiser offered on entry.

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