New safety rules for hospitality industry

By Democrat reporter

Regulations make it mandatory to collect customer and visitor information.

From today it is mandatory for hospitality settings to collect the contact details of visitors to their premises in support of Test and Protect.

The new regulations apply to restaurants, cafes, pubs and hotels in which food or drink are sold for consumption on the premises.

These businesses must now record the name and contact number of an individual – or lead member of each household in a group – that visits the premises.

They must also record the date of the visit, the time of arrival, and where possible the departure time.

The new regulations include customers, staff working on a particular day and visitors such as delivery drivers or cleaners.

Premises must store the information for 21 days and share it when requested to do so by public health officers within 24 hours.

New statutory guidance for the hospitality sector has been published which explains how to keep a record of customer and visitor contact details securely ensuring data protection principles are upheld.

The Scottish Government has also published updated guidance for hospitality customers to reinforce key safety measures.

This includes the need to maintain physical distancing and the strict limits on the number of households that can meet at a time – 8 people from up to 3 households indoors and 15 people from up to 5 households outdoors.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:  “While many hospitality businesses have acted responsibly by adhering to the voluntary approach of collecting customer details, unfortunately too many others have not, and so – given the established high risk of virus transmission within hospitality settings – we have decided to make this mandatory.

“Strengthening this requirement to collect and share the data by moving it from guidance into regulations ensures that in the event of an outbreak, through the Test and Protect process, it will be possible to get in touch with anyone identified as a close contact who was present at the same time as an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.

“This will help us break chains of transmission while continuing to allow us to socialise and support our local businesses.

“It is worth stressing that for those hospitality venues which are already complying with guidance, they will see minimal change to their procedures and operations.”

Chief executive of the Scottish Beer and Pub Association Emma McClarkin said: “The majority of Scotland’s pubs and bars had already gone above and beyond in putting measures in place to keep customers safe during this time.

“These changes today will help ensure those premises which have fallen short no longer do so, and we welcome that clarity.

“We’re all in this together and the stronger we are now, the sooner we will be able to see these restrictions disappear.”

One comment

  1. I think it goes without saying that pubs were always recognised as potential conduits to reignite the virus. Indeed , when the outbreak reignited in Aberdeen and was traced to Aberdeen pubs Nicola Sturgeon acknowledges that reopening pubs had “ always been their fear”

    But oh how the now departed Jackson Carlaw harangued the First Minister to open the pubs like England. An oh how Mr Tim Martin of the big pub chain lobbied the Tories in Westminster to open the pubs.

    But the pubs did not play ball. They did not put into place, or at least all of them, the protections required. Open again people queued at the bar, sat in close knit groups, mingled like nothing had happened, whilst outside people donned masks to enter shops, or go on socially distanced buses and trains.

    In fact the recent cases in Balloch were traced to a public house, with links to another public house in Glasgow.

    But we know all of that and really what the new controls tell us is that between the pub industry’s desire to reopen, and folks desire to congregate disregarding social protections, these controls were overdue.

    Indeed, it was only a couple of weeks ago, not long after reopening, that the Police in Dumbarton actually had to shut down premises down for the total and utter lack of distancing. Unbelievable, but fact.

    It would certainly be a tragedy if the virus took hold again and the death rate once again soared. And then who could we blame?

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