Coronavirus: Public urged to provide contact details when dining out
Shropshire Council is urging the public to provide their contact details when they eat and drink at cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants, in order to help hospitality businesses comply with the current COVID-19-secure restriction controls.
The public will have welcomed the relaxation of the coronavirus restrictions that now allow them to eat and drink indoors, as well as continuing to take advantage of the additional outdoor space that businesses have made available for this purpose.
Recent reports received, and the outcome of monitoring visits undertaken across the county by council officers, have highlighted serious concerns that not all customers are being asked for their contact details.
This is a legal requirement on businesses and is a critical measure to help contain the spread of coronavirus by enabling NHS Test and Trace to identify and warn customers who may have been exposed to the virus. This allows those customers to take steps, including self-isolation where necessary, to reduce transmission of the virus within family, friends and the wider community.
This is particularly important in order to contain the spread of variants of concern, such as the Indian variant B.1.617.2, that are known to be even more transmissible.
Hospitality businesses are legally required to ask every customer (over the age of 16) to provide their name and contact details and to display an official NHS QR poster so that customers can ‘check in’ using the NHS Covid-19 app as an alternative to providing their contact details.
Frances Darling, Shropshire Council’s head of trading standards and licensing, said:
“We understand that our hospitality businesses have a great deal to think about and it is very challenging to comply with all the COVID-19-secure requirements expected of them. We want to support them in their efforts to recover from the serious economic impact that coronavirus has had on them; however, to do this, it is critical that they comply with the COVID-19-secure requirements.
“Customers have a huge part to play in helping businesses comply with the rules. When you go out for drinks or meals, I urge you to be proactive in providing your contact details to the businesses, or alternatively to scan the NHS QR Code that will be displayed at the premises.
“We are keen to hear about business that are excelling at providing a COVID-19-secure environment, and customers are encouraged to let us know where this is happening. Equally, if you have concerns that a business is not doing enough to minimise the transmission of the virus and are therefore putting customers and staff at risk, you can report this to the council, and we will help the business to improve or, in serious cases, take appropriate enforcement action.”
Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult social care, public health and assets, said:
“It is great news that Shropshire has been able to move forward in line with the Government’s planned roadmap out of the third Lockdown. However, it is essential that we all remain vigilant and adhere to the current coronavirus rules and guidance to ensure we can continue to make positive progress.
“Our wonderful hospitality businesses across the county have so much to offer, and I know it would be awful for them and their customers if we were to find ourselves in a situation where restrictions have to be reintroduced because we are unable to adequately minimise transmission or contain outbreaks.
“It’s for this reason that we need customers to play their part to help businesses, and one of the key measures to do this effectively is to ensure they provide their contact details or scan the NHS QR code.”
To let the council know about the quality of COVID-19-secure measures being implemented by businesses, you can use our online form; alternatively, if you have any serious concerns about a particular business that cannot be adequately captured on the form, please report this to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact 0345 678 9067 (option 4).