It likely comes as no surprise that the Coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns have had a significant impact on the UK’s hospitality industry. Lockdowns have seen restrictions placed on all hospitality businesses, meaning that most have had to temporarily close resulting in a substantial reduction in income. Even when out of lockdown during the later summer months, the ‘rule of 6’ saw larger families cancelling restaurant reservations and holiday bookings.
With another lockdown throughout November, the industry has been hit again, just as it was able to go back to welcoming customers through the doors. Venues such as pubs and restaurants have been asked to close, with the exception of serving their food and drink as a takeaway option. However, they are only allowed to do this before 10 pm and does not include the selling of takeaway alcohol.
Hotels have also been asked to close to general visitors but they can remain open under specific circumstances. This includes where they are a person’s main accommodation, where a person cannot return home, where it is essential to stay there for work purposes or for helping the homeless.
Following the announcement of the new 3-tier system to be introduced when the current lockdown ends on 2nd December, there will be new requirements for businesses to be aware of. The rules will vary across the 3 tiers and they will be reviewed regularly.
The BBC states as follows:
- In tier one, hospitality businesses will be able to remain open until 11 pm, with last orders taken at 10 pm. This is to encourage visitors to gradually leave instead of all leaving at the same time.
- In tier two, they will only be able to open if they serve substantial meals. Alcohol can be served but if done so alongside that meal.
- In tier 3, all hospitality venues will be required to close, with the exception of delivery, takeaway and drive-through services.
Businesses will also be legally required to take customers’ contact details so that they can be easily traced and a fine can be issued if this is not followed. These details will only need to be taken from at least one member of the group, but they must be kept for 21 days in case of an outbreak. All staff will also need to wear face masks, as will customers when they are not seated at a table.
We hope that these details will help you understand changes going on within the industry. You can also find information about reopening your business after lockdown on the food.gov.uk website.
We would also like to take this opportunity to send best wishes to all of our customers, and other businesses throughout the industry, during these difficult times.