Seated restaurants and cafés, and all bar areas, to remain closed in lockdown ease

Robyn Black

Robyn Black

04 May 2020

Guidance documents show all food and drink outlets will only be able to serve takeaways under government plans to ease the lockdown

It is expected that Boris Johnson will make the first announcement of measures to help the UK get back to work on Sunday (10 May), but hospitality venues will remain closed apart from for takeaways.

The news website Buzzfeed UK claims it has seen seven guidance documents drawn up by cabinet office minister Michael Gove and business secretary Alok Sharma that will form the basis for the government’s proposals to get people back to work in the coming weeks.

One of the documents is concerned with the hospitality industry and Buzzfeed reports it recommends:

  • Bar areas must be closed
  • Seated restaurants and cafés must be closed
  • All food and drink outlets to serve takeaways only
  • Allowing access to as few people as possible into kitchens
  • Minimising interaction between kitchen workers and other workers
  • Putting teams into shifts to restrict the number of employees interacting
  • Spacing workstations two metres apart as much as possible
  • Minimising access to walk-in pantries, fridges and freezers, with likely only one person being able to access these areas at one point in time
  • Minimising contact at 'handover' points with other staff, such as when presenting food to serving staff and delivery drivers
  • Hand sanitiser for visitors
  • Avoid crowded reception areas, staggering check-in and check-out times
  • Carrying out contractor services at night
  • Considering room occupancy levels to maintain social distancing, especially in dormitories
  • Minimising contact between kitchen and food preparation workers and delivery drivers
  • Using front of house staff to serve customers in walk-in takeaways, with tills two metres away from the kitchen and ideally separated by a wall or partition
  • Creating a physical barrier between front of house workers and customers
  • Using contactless card payments
  • Limiting access to premises for people waiting for takeaways. Asking customers to wait in their cars
  • Asking customers to order online, on apps or over the telephone

Buzzfeed also reports that businesses with more than five employees must produce a written risk assessment of working conditions for their staff if they wish to reopen during the pandemic and shielded 'extremely vulnerable' people will be banned from any work that isn’t carried out at home.

For drinks suppliers, there is also guidance for factories and warehouses that recommends:

  • Ask for who it is essential to be on site. Office staff should stay home
  • Planning for the minimum number of people needed on site
  • Providing equipment for employees to work from home safely and effectively, for example laptops
  • Servicing and adjusting ventilation systems
  • Frequent cleaning of work areas and equipment
  • Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of objects and surfaces
  • Clearing workspaces and removing waste at the end of a shift
  • Cleaning procedures for equipment, tools and vehicles after each shift and after each use of shared equipment, for example pallet trucks and forklift trucks
  • Hand sanitiser for employees to use boarding vehicles or handling deliveries
  • Regular cleaning of reusable delivery boxes

Last week a new hospitality action group to help businesses receive insurance cover over covid-19 was created.

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