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Eat Up And Hurry Out – New Government Policy Explained for Restaurants

This is the new law issued by the Government. But don’t forget, restaurants are still open for business, with the highest of safety standards – you just need to book a little earlier for a late dinner. And deliveries are still ok after 10pm. Here are all the new dining out rules explained from Wednesday 23rd September 2020:

  • HANDS – Wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds.
  • FACE – Cover your face in enclosed spaces, especially where social distancing may be difficult and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
  • SPACE – Stay 2 metres apart where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place.

Face Coverings

  • Customers in restaurants must wear face coverings, except when seated at a table to eat or drink. Staff in hospitality and retail will now also be required to wear face coverings (from 24 September).
  • People who are already exempt from the existing face covering obligations, such as because of an underlying health condition, will continue to be exempt from these new obligations.
  • Businesses selling food or drink (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants), social clubs, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement arcades (and other indoor leisure centres or facilities), funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls, must be closed between 10pm and 5am. This will include takeaways, but delivery services can continue after 10pm (from 24 September).
  • In licensed premises, food and drink must be ordered from, and served at, a table.
  • Customers must eat and drink at a table in any premises selling food and drink to consume indoors, on site (from 24 September).
  • Businesses will need to display the official NHS QR code posters so that customers can ‘check-in’ at different premises using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details once the app is rolled out nationally (from 24 September).
  • Businesses and organisations will face stricter rules to make their premises COVID Secure (from 28 September):
    • A wider range of leisure and entertainment venues, services provided in community centres, and close contact services will be subject to the COVID-19 Secure requirements in law and fines of up to £10,000 for repeated breaches.
    • Employers must not knowingly require or encourage someone who is being required to self-isolate to come to work.
    • Businesses must remind people to wear face coverings where mandated.

Meeting people safely

  • Support groups must be limited to a maximum of 15 people (from 24 September).
  • Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies and receptions will be restricted to a maximum of 15 people (down from 30). Other significant standalone life events will be subject to the ‘rule of six’ limits, except funerals (from 28 September).

The government’s expectation is the measures described above will need to remain in place until March.

These measures apply to England – but there may be different rules if you live in an area under local lockdown: and you should check local lockdown rules. If you are in WalesScotland or Northern Ireland, different rules may apply.

The decision has got many reacting with shock in the restaurant industry, but Adam Handling owner of Frog, WC2 sums it up well:

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t want to be Prime Minister during a global pandemic – crazy decisions to make and angry people no matter what the decision is. I can’t help being one of those angry people though – thank you so much Boris for your timely decision-making and long lead times to restructure our bookings and reduce our already-reduced occupancy to 50% … thankfully, hospitality is a think quick, act quicker kind of industry.

I genuinely want to thank the support of all of our loyal guests during this difficult time – it really means the world to me and my team.

Adam Handling, Frog by Adam Handling

As a token of their thanks, from Thursday 24th September Frog by Adam Handling will be open slightly earlier for dinner (5pm Tuesdays-Saturdays) and from Sunday 11th September, we will be opening for Sunday lunchtimes. Join them for a 7-course tasting menu, or opt for a la carte, and beat the curfew in style. Luxury Restaurant Club members enjoy cocktails when dining at lunchtime, see details.

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