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New Covid-19 Government Measures Introduced to Hospitality Sector

Nantwich town centre (photo: Jonathan White)

Article and Photographs: Jonathan White

New government measures to halt the spread of Covid-19 were introduced to the hospitality sector from Thursday 24th September 2020. All pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes and other hospitality venues in England must close by 10pm. 

Venues that are licensed to serve alcohol will be restricted by law to table service only, except for takeaways. In all cases, table bookings of more than six are not allowed and groups can’t mingle. 

Businesses are legally required to take customers’ contact details, so they can be traced if there is an outbreak. Staff in hospitality venues must now wear masks, as must customers when not seated at their table to eat or drink. 

Staff at Nantwich Bookshop & Coffee Lounge (photo: Jonathan White)

Steve Lawson, Nantwich Bookshop & Coffee Lounge, said: “Recently an official from Public Health England visited the shop and commented on the high level of systems in place to combat the spread of Coronavirus.

“Because our measures currently exceed the required levels we expect to move seamlessly into the next level and continue to put our customers and staff’s welfare as our top priority.”

Ebenezer’s Craft Beer & Gin (photo: Jonathan White)

Nicholas Warren, Ebenezer’s Craft Beer & Gin, said: “We’ve reduced seating space, so we’re now down to half-capacity at 30. We are only open three days a week as there isn’t enough demand from Monday to Wednesday to justify the cost of opening and staffing it. We have handwash stations at the entrance and at the bar at the top of the stairs and screens all around the bar. Gloves and masks are always available if required.

“We want people to feel as safe and as comfortable as possible. We were adhering to all the rules previously and closing early at 10:30pm to thoroughly sanitise. The only real difference is switching to table service only as opposed to our controlled service at the bar. We’re confident that what we offer will keep our regular customers happy and coming back and those that have visited have told us how safe they feel.”