28/05/2021 - Permalink

Coronavirus: Hospitality businesses urged to record customer contact details

Related topics: Coronavirus / Economic growth

Shropshire Council is urging cafes, pub, bars and restaurants to ensure they obtain customer contact details in accordance with the current COVID-19-secure restriction controls.

Hospitality businesses will have welcomed the relaxation of the coronavirus restrictions that now allow customers to eat and drink indoors, whilst also being able to continue to provide outdoor space 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 businesses are collecting the necessary customer contact details.

It is essential that hospitality businesses obtain and retain customer contact details.  This is a critical measure to help contain the spread of the virus by enabling NHS Test and Trace to identify and warn customers who may have been exposed to the virus, which in turn allows those customers to take steps to reduce transmission 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 reminded that it is a legal requirement to:

  • ask every customer (over the age of 16) to provide their name and contact details
  • keep these records for 21 days
  • provide the data to NHS Test and Trace if requested
  • 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
  • take reasonable steps to refuse entry to anyone who refuses to provide their contact details
  • adhere to General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) requirements

Frances Darling, Shropshire Council’s head of trading standards and licensing, said:

“We want to support hospitality businesses 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.

“I urge our hospitality trade to ensure they ask customers for their contact details and satisfy themselves that they have done all that could reasonably be expected of them to comply with the obligations that are placed upon them to reduce the transmission of the virus.

“I know that the majority of businesses are committed to doing their absolute best and are implementing COVID-19-secure measures to protect the health and safety of their customers and staff.

“Equally, I understand that the majority are not intentionally failing to comply with the requirements. However, in order to ensure a level playing field for those who do comply, it is important to understand that we will take enforcement action against those who don’t.

“Failure to comply with any of these requirements could result in fixed penalty fines or prosecution.

“Finally, I would advise any business that is unsure about what they need to do, to please ask us for advice.  We are here to help.”

Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for public health, 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 COVID-19-secure 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 our communities if we were to find ourselves in a situation where restrictions have to be reintroduced because we are unable to contain outbreaks.

“It is for this reason that we need to ensure all those businesses, not only those in hospitality, that are required to obtain contact details do so and that the public do their utmost to help them do this effectively.”

Hospitality businesses must also take all reasonable steps to ensure that:

  • they do not accept bookings and do not admit customers to their premises in a group of more than 30 where the group is to be located outdoors and in a group of more than six or two households where the group is to be located indoors, unless the groups satisfy certain other specific exceptions.
  • they take reasonable steps to prevent groups from mingling
  • they serve customers only in groups of up to six or two households indoors, or in groups of up to 30 outdoors
  • where businesses supply alcohol, table service must be provided; even if no alcohol is actually ordered, customers must still order, be served and eat/drink whilst seated
  • for those businesses that do not serve alcohol, customers are permitted to order and collect food and drink from a counter, but businesses must ensure customers consume food and drink whilst seated at a table
  • an appropriate distance is maintained between tables
  • information is displayed/provided to customers making it clear that face coverings must be worn when not seated unless an exemption applies

Guidance for hospitality businesses on maintaining records of customers to support NHS Test and Trace is available here.  This requirement also applies to the tourism and leisure industry, close contact services and community centres and village halls.

Guidance on working safely during Covid-19 for people who work in or run restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes or takeaways is available here.

Businesses can seek further advice from the Council by contacting 0345 678 9067 (option 4) or advicecompliance@shropshire.gov.uk