As their Prime Minister Jacinda Arden moved the country’s COVID-19 lockdown from level 3 to level 2 a little over 10 days ago, this allowed for more shops, schools and restaurants to reopen as of the 14th May, however. bars and nightclubs had to wait a further week.
Under level 2, bars must adhere to the same restrictions as other hospitality venues. This provides for:
For dine-in customers, restaurants, cafes and bars must:
- keep customers seated
- keep groups separated by at least 1 metre
- have a single server per group – this means each group has one server, though servers can each serve more than one table
- keep records of all customers and workers to allow contact tracing
One of the critical structures many countries are implementing is ‘track and trace’. It will be interesting to see how the UK version, currently on trial in the Isle of Wight, will work within the hospitality sector. Again, we look at New Zealand and products such as guestHQ (for more information click here) which is being implemented with great success by venues to assist in monitoring its venue’s guest traffic.
South Korea appears to be leading this field with its Epidemic Investigation Support System (EISS) which it introduced in late March 2020.
In response to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, in the nightclub district of Seoul, South Korea their government declared that places like nightclubs and bars use a check-in system/solution that creates a log/register of all visitors.
Lastly, the NSW government has released a COVID-19 checklist for cafes and restaurants as they start to release their lockdown. From today (1st June 2020) customers are allowed to dine within a venue, however social distancing must still be observed.
Below is the checklist released by the NSW government:
Wellbeing of staff and customers
- Exclude from the premises staff and customers who are unwell
- Provide staff with information and training on COVID-19, including when to get a test, physical distancing and cleaning.
- Make staff aware of their leave entitlements if they are sick or required to self-isolate.
- Display conditions of entry (website, social media, venue entry).
- Capacity must not exceed 50 customers per separate existing seated food or drinks area; OR one customer per 4sq metres of space on the premises, whichever is the lesser.
- Weddings are permitted to book for a maximum of 20 guests (excluding the couple, the persons involved in conducting the service and the photographer and videographer). Funerals and memorial services are permitted to book for a maximum of 50 mourners (excluding the persons involved in conducting the service).
- No more than 10 customers at a table (except for gatherings immediately after a wedding, funeral or memorial service).
- Consider a time-based booking system with a phone or online options, to limit the number of people entering the premises or waiting outside.
- Reduce contact between customer groups.
- Move or remove tables and seating to support 1.5 metres of physical distance.
- Reduce crowding and promote physical distancing with markers on the floor.
- Where possible, ensure staff maintain 1.5 metres physical distancing and assign workers to specific workstations.
- Alcohol can only be consumed by seated customers.
- Where reasonably practical, stagger starting times and breaks for staff members.
- Consider physical barriers such as plexiglass around counters with high volume interactions with customers.
- Review regular deliveries and request contactless delivery/ invoicing where practical.
- Introduce strategies to manage gatherings that may occur outside the premises.
- Avoid group singing and wind instruments (such as flute, oboe or clarinet).
- Solo singers should maintain at least 3 metres of physical distance from other people.
Hygiene and cleaning
- Adopt good hand hygiene practises and ensure hand hygiene facilities are available to customers and staff.
- Ensure bathrooms are well stocked with hand soap and paper towels.
- Reduce the number of surfaces touched by customers.
- No self-serve buffet style food service areas, communal bar snacks, communal condiments, or hookahs allowed.
- Clean cutlery and tableware with detergent or with a commercial-grade dishwasher if available.
- Menus must be laminated (cleaned between use), displayed or be single use. Place takeaway menus outside the venue.
- Clean frequently used areas at least daily with detergent or disinfectant.
- Clean frequently touched areas and surfaces several times per day.
- Maintain disinfectant solutions at an appropriate strength and use as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Staff are to wear gloves when cleaning and wash hands thoroughly before and after with soap and water.
- Encourage contactless payment options.
- Keep the name and mobile number or email address for all staff, dine-in customers and contractors for at least 28 days. Records are only to be used for tracing COVID-19 infections and must not be stored.
Finally, we in the UK are hoping that we are now on an upward curve to reopen some venues in July 2020 and building from there. The fact is, without any doubt, we will have to embrace the new ‘norm’ just as all other countries who are already opening are having to do.