Groups of more than six can’t meet, but restaurants can have more than six people in them
Health secretary Matt Hancock took a break from blaming the public’s following his government’s advice on taking tests, eating out to help out, and getting back to work for a rise in coronavirus cases to announce that restaurants will now be obliged to take customers’ details for track-and-trace. He told the Today Programme that the measure, which was announced as optional in earlier restaurant reopening guidelines, will be obligatory from Monday 14 September, when a new ban on gatherings of more than six people comes into force. Restaurants, therefore, will see table sizes limited — but not total dining room capacities, at least not any further than they already are limited by social distancing regulations.
At a Downing Street press conference this evening, 9 September, Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed the measures, together with announcing that “fines will be levied against hospitality venues that fail to ensure their premises remain Covid-secure.” With many restaurants already following the track and trace guideline, the government’s official Covid-secure guidance for restaurants published as recommendatory, and a characteristic lack of detail from the Prime Minister today, it’s tough to say yet what impact it will actually have on both business and tracing itself. [BBC News]
And in other news...
- Restaurant heartbreaker Michelin claims it is supporting the industry by awarding its stars in January 2021.
- The upcoming London restaurant openings to get excited about.
- One of those is Kol, Santiago Lastra’s upcoming Mexican restaurant in Marylebone, which now has an opening date.
- Labour says withdrawing the furlough scheme — scheduled to end in October — will hammer pubs and bars that have been less able to reopen than restaurants. [Big Hospitality]
- Spare a thought for Netherlands avocado-only restaurant The Avocado Show, which arrives in the city with a thoroughly ... Novel concept only to discover that it’s been done, several times, already.
- U.K. food businesses fear that the latest Brexit skullduggery and actual law-breaking will make it impossible to comply with new food labelling regulations by January 2021. [Out-Law]
- Newly updated guides: Where to eat in Ealing...
- ... And where to eat in Clapham.
- Good tweet:
25th of december, 2020. you pull a cracker with your flatmate, put on the little hats and tuck into your government-mandated Pret christmas sandwiches in front of the TV, where The Snowman is being read live by Laurence Fox from his living room— Imogen West-Knights (@ImogenWK) September 9, 2020