AS FREEDOM Day dawns closer and closer, Brits are desperate for a dose of normality as most pubs, clubs, and restaurant restrictions lift.
But not all of them will be axed on July 19, according to new government guidance released on Wednesday.
The rule of six will finally be scrapped indoors and social distancing and table service is also getting left behind, yet the government are advising for some rules to remain.
Venues are still obliged to carry out detailed Covid risk assessments or risk breaking the law – seeing unions slam the "vague" guidelines that have left landlords puzzled for post-Freedom Day.
SO WHAT ARE THE RULES?
It will no longer be a legal requirement to wear face masks after Monday, but establishments should "consider encouraging" customers and employees to wear them indoors.
"This is especially important in enclosed and crowded spaces," the guidance said, where people could come into contact with others they don't normally mix with.
The non-compulsory guidelines also suggest "large, crowded" venues use an "NHS Covid Pass" so punters can prove their virus-free.
The "condition of entry" would require guests to show they have either received both jabs, taken a recent negative test or have natural antibodies, using the NHS app.
The guidance however reminds businesses to "ensure that you comply" with equalities laws.
There is still no official direction of how it would work, but the government said to expect it "shortly".
QR CODES SET TO REMAIN
Among the other features that look set to stay are QR codes that allow people to check in on the NHS app – although it will no longer be a legal requirement.
Establishments are being urged to keep them and a "system to collect (and securely store) names and contact details for those who ask to check in but do not have the app."
But places no longer have to ask people to check-in or have to turn them away for refusing – unless you have a new, persistent cough, a high temperature, or a loss or change in your sense of taste or smell.
Staff will also have to self-isolate if they develop these symptoms, unless they receive a negative Covid test result.
The hospitality industry have been told to keep "adequate" ventilation in mind, by keeping doors, windows and vents open or by using a non-"recirculating" air-con or venting system.
Venues should keep tabs on poorly ventilated areas with a carbon dioxide monitor and either scrap the use of the area or "take steps to improve fresh air flow."
As well as this, they are advised to "encourage use of outside space where practical," and "identify any areas of congestion in your venue and consider if any reasonable steps could be taken to avoid this."
BAR ORDERING IS BACK – BUT…
Protective screens could also stay put as Brits are finally able to order at the bar again and businesses should consider "asking customers not to lean on counters when placing orders."
High-risk communal areas should be cleaned regularly at buffets and venues should "discourage customer self-service."
Staff are also noticeably largely being considered in the new guidance – as the government looks to minimise differing contact between work pals to keep cases down.
It could see "fixed teams" or "partnering" employees who are put on the same shifts. It is also advised to consider working back-to-back or side-to-side, instead of face-to-face.
CUSTOMERS GIVEN "CLEAR GUIDANCE" AND "VISUAL AIDS"
Firms should also give consideration to high-risk and vulnerable staff who are nervous about returning to work.
With a large emphasis on the mental and physical health struggles many may face, bosses should make clear the Covid-compliant efforts in place to reassure them.
Workers will have to up their cleaning game too – something that is "particularly important before and after touching shared objects or surfaces that other people touch regularly."
This may see the demise of shared condiments – as places are still being urged to use disposable sachets, or to clean sauce bottles and salt and pepper shakers after every use.
Venues should also consider "advising customers and workers to wash their hands or use hand sanitiser frequently," to minimise the spread of the virus.
Customers should receive "clear guidance" via phone, website, e-mail, signs on how to keep safe along with "visual aids" to remind them.
Contactless payments will also remain where possible too, while keys at hotels should be cleaned between guests, the guidance says.
Source: Read Full Article