COVID-19 Government Update: The Latest Health and Safety Measures Impacting the Hospitality Sector

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Need some clarification on how your business will be impacted by the COVID-19 government update earlier in the week? Below, we have summarised the latest health and safety measures that will change operations in the hospitality sector.

On Tuesday the government announced further measures to slow the spread of coronavirus in England. These have been brought into action to address the rising number of cases and keep people safe. The hospitality sector has been particularly impacted by the change in rules. Using GOV.UK and we have listed the up-to-date coronavirus information for hospitality businesses.

The latest health and safety measures impacting the hospitality sector

The clamp down on the hospitality sector is a result of the government’s medical chiefs raising the COVID-19 alert level. The chief medical officers for all four nations raised the level from three to four, meaning there is a higher level of transmission. A new 10pm curfew is not the best news for pubs and restaurants that are just getting back on their feet after a difficult start to the year. However, individuals and business owners may still breathe a sigh of relief that there isn’t going to be a total shutdown – yet.

The hospitality sector includes accommodations, food and drink venues and tourism and travel.


  • Customers at your hospitality venue need to wear face coverings, unless they are seated at a table to eat or drink.
  • Your staff are required to wear face coverings. But people who are already exempt from the existing face covering rules will continue to be exempt. For example, if they have an underlying health condition. It’s your responsibility to remind people to wear face coverings where mandated.
  • Businesses that sell food or drink, as well as social clubs, casinos, amusement arcades, bowling alleys, funfairs, theme parks and bingo parks must be closed between 10pm and 5am.
  • To make sure that your premises is COVID-19 secure, your business will face stricter rules. There can be fines of up to £10,000 for repeated breaches.
  • Employers can’t knowingly require or encourage someone who is self-isolating to come into work.
  • In licensed premises, food and drink needs to be ordered from, and served at, the table.
  • In premises that sell food and drink to consume indoors and on site, customers must eat or drink at a table.
  • Businesses have to display the official NHS QR code posters so customers can ‘check in’.

So, these are the latest health and safety measures that apply to England. However, there may be different rules if you are under a local lockdown. Therefore, it’s important to check out your local lockdown rules on the GOV.UK website.

What about Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

At the moment up to six people can meet up from different households indoors in England. There haven’t been any further announcements regarding meeting up with different households in England. However, there have been some changes in the rest of the UK…


You cannot make indoor social visits to other households in Scotland. But a maximum of six people from two households can meet up in outdoor spaces. Table service will still be required in all hospitality premises.


People have been asked to only make necessary journeys. Hospitality businesses need to provide table service only.

Northern Ireland

Households can no longer mix indoors in private homes. Up to six people from two households can meet outdoors, but social distancing needs to be maintained.

Pubs, cafes and restaurants will also have to shut at 10pm every night in Scotland and Wales.

“We must rely on our willingness to look out for each other, to protect each other. Never in our history has our collective destiny and our collective health depended so completely on our individual behaviour.

“If we follow these simple rules together, we will get through this winter together.” – Boris Jonhson

Everybody also needs to observe the following behaviours:

  • Hands – Wash your hands regularly throughout the day. Do so for at least 20 seconds.
  • Face – Wear a face covering when you are in enclosed spaces. This is particularly important where social distancing is difficult and when you come into contact with people you wouldn’t normally meet.
  • Space – Try to stay 2 metres apart from people at all times. But if this isn’t possible, stay 1 metre with extra precautions.

Follow the advice and stay safe

We know by now that things can change overnight, so it’s important to regularly keep on top of the news and any updates on the tightening or loosening of restrictions. You might also want to consider becoming a member of as you can receive email updates, advice and guidance. You can also opt-in to its COVID-19 update and get notified when things develop following the press briefings and announcements.

It won’t be like this forever. But we need to work together now to fight the virus and keep everyone safe and healthy. This includes making sure we all follow, to the letter, the latest health and safety measures that impact the hospitality sector.

Use our resources

We have lots of coronavirus-related content that you might be interested in. For instance, why the COVID-19 crisis may be your best reason to join a franchise. As well as how adapting to the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis has helped businesses thrive in new ways.

If you’re thinking about entering the hospitality industry now, or it’s on the cards in the future, you might want to have a look at our restaurant, coffee shop and pub franchises. We have lots to choose from. Simply click on one that takes your fancy, and you can read all you need to know about the opportunity. Including how much you need to invest, what you get in return of your investment and the ideal franchisee. You can register your interest and attend one of their virtual discovery days.

>> Read more articles on the Restaurant sector

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