A summary of the new coronavirus rules and how they may affect your food business

We understand how difficult it is to keep up to date with the recent numerous changes in the legislation and mandatory requirements, especially if you own or manage a bar, pub or restaurant.  The following information summarises the changes to date, we hope that by providing this information it will support you in putting the necessary measures in place, to ensure you are compliant.

Opening hours

Serving your customers

The legislation requires that premises licensed for the sale of alcohol including restaurants, bars, pubs, social clubs, members clubs and casinos, may only sell food or drink for consumption on their premises if:

  1. The food or drink is ordered by and served to, a customer who is seated on the premises; and
  2. You the business owner take all reasonable steps to ensure that the customer remains seated whilst consuming the food or drink on the premises.

Our interpretation of this is that pubs and bars will be required to provide full table service and that customers will not be able to order, stand at the bar and / or visit carvery service points.

Face coverings

It is now compulsory for staff (who have contact with customers) and customers to wear face coverings unless seated at a table to consume food or drink. This means that customers must wear a face covering while on the premises waiting to be seated to their table and when leaving the table to visit the toilet or exit the premises.  Find more  information on face coverings and where they must be worn.

Track and trace

  1. ask at least one member of every party of customers or visitors (up to 6 people) to provide their name and contact details
  2. keep a record of all staff working on their premises and shift times on a given day and their contact details
  3. keep these records of customers, visitors and staff for 21 days and provide data to NHS Test and Trace if requested
  4. display an official NHS QR code poster so that customers and visitors can 'check in' using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details
  5. adhere to General Data Protection Regulations; and
  6. refuse entry to those who refuse to participate.

Find more information on track and trace requirements.

Table spacing and the rule of six

You must ensure the distance between tables occupied by different groups must be at least two metres or at least one metre if there are barriers or screens, or tables have back to back seating or otherwise so table 1 and table 2 are not face to face at a distance of less than two metres, or other suitable alternative measures are in place to limit the spread of infection.

Table seating plans must follow the rule of six, no more than 6 people should sit at a table unless they all live together, or are in the same support bubble.  (You may be asked to provide evidence that groups of larger than six all live together,or are in the same support bubble).

You must also discourage avoid social interaction between customers from different tables, even if they are people they know.

Find more information on safely meeting with others 

If you have any queries or require further information please contact us.

Email: eandr@nfdc.gov.uk

Phone: 023 8028 5411

Food and Safety Team
New Forest District Council
Appletree Court
Beaulieu Road
SO43 7PA

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