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Business Neath Port Talbot South Wales

Return of outdoor hospitality – guidance for operators and customers

BUSINESS owners and customers across Neath Port Talbot are being reminded the Welsh Government has published new safety guidance covering the resumption of outdoor hospitality in Wales on Monday, April 26th, 2021 at premises including pubs, cafes and restaurants.

Indoor hospitality will remain closed except for takeaways.

The new guidance for outdoor hospitality includes a set of 22 “mitigations”.

These include a mandatory duty for hospitality businesses to collect contact information on all staff and adult (over 18) customers or visitors. Customers will be encouraged to pay outdoors where possible but indoor payment is allowed as well as coming indoors to use toilet facilities.

Some of the other guidance points include:

  • All premises must ensure that where people are required to wait to enter, a distance of two metres is maintained except between members of the same household or a carer and the person assisted by the carer. 
  • Outside queues should be managed to ensure they do not cause a risk to individuals or other businesses or cause additional security risks, for example by introducing queuing systems.
  • In premises authorised to sell or supply alcohol, customers must be seated at all times outdoors (anywhere other than at a bar) when ordering food or drink, when being served with food and drink (table service only), and when consuming food and drink. Licensed premises are encouraged to use smartphone apps for customers to pay for food to minimise contact between staff and customers.
  • Staff should wear face coverings at all times unless they have an exemption. When moving about indoors, to walk to the outdoor area or to go to toilets, customers must always ensure they are wearing face coverings (unless they are under 11 or have a reasonable excuse not to wear a face covering).  To safeguard staff and customers, businesses should consider asking customers to wear face coverings at all times outdoors, except when seated at a table, however this is not mandatory.
  • Each business must undertake, and have available on site, a specific Covid-19 full risk assessment, prepared in line with the Welsh Government and UK Hospitality industry guidance and staff must be consulted on the risk assessment. It’s recommended businesses should make their specific Covid-19 risk assessment publicly available for staff, customers and the community and should keep their risk assessments updated in line with the latest guidance.
  • All businesses must ensure customers are fully aware of their responsibilities for observing social distancing and all Covid-19 safety measures – using clear signage and other visual communications (e.g. posters or airline style flashcards).

On Monday, April 19th, the Welsh Government announced changes in Covid-19 restrictions to allow any six people (not including children under 11 years of age or carers) to meet outdoors from Saturday, April 24th which will replace the current rule providing for up to six people from a maximum of two households to meet outdoors (the new rule will apply to outdoor hospitality).

People should observe social distancing from people from outside their household or support bubble when meeting others outside.

On Friday (Apr 23), the First Minister will confirm further relaxations to the Covid rules that came into force on Monday, April 26, 2021.