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Restaurants Will Now Be Ordered to Take Customer Details for COVID-19 Tracing [Updated]

Prime Minister confirms that guidelines will soon be rigorously enforced, even though many restaurants already do it

Restaurant tables outside on Frith Street in Soho, as seen at night
Hospitality regulations will now be enforced more strictly
Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images

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]

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