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SLTA News And Updates 14th August

SLTA News and Updates 14th August

The Scottish Government has today introduced new Statutory Guidance for the hospitality industry including the mandatory collection of customers’ details for the industry and have also introduced a ban on background music.

From today it is mandatory for hospitality settings to collect the contact details of visitors to their premises in support of Test and Protect.   The new regulations apply to restaurants, cafes, pubs and hotels in which food or drink are sold for consumption on the premises.

These businesses must now record the name and contact number of an individual – or lead member of each household in a group – that visits the premises.   They must also record the date of the visit, the time of arrival, and where possible the departure time.

The new regulations include customers, staff working on a particular day and visitors such as delivery drivers or cleaners.   Premises must store the information for 21 days and share it when requested to do so by public health officers within 24 hours.

New statutory guidance for the hospitality sector has been published which explains how to keep a record of customer and visitor contact details securely ensuring data protection principles are upheld.

The Scottish Government has also published updated guidance for hospitality customers to reinforce key safety measures.

This includes the need to maintain physical distancing and the strict limits on the number of households that can meet at a time – 8 people from up to 3 households indoors and 15 people from up to 5 households outdoors.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“While many hospitality businesses have acted responsibly by adhering to the voluntary approach of collecting customer details, unfortunately too many others have not, and so – given the established high risk of virus transmission within hospitality settings – we have decided to make this mandatory.

Strengthening this requirement to collect and share the data by moving it from guidance into regulations ensures that in the event of an outbreak, through the Test and Protect process, it will be possible to get in touch with anyone identified as a close contact who was present at the same time as an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.

This will help us break chains of transmission while continuing to allow us to socialise and support our local businesses.   It is worth stressing that for those hospitality venues which are already complying with guidance, they will see minimal change to their procedures and operations.

The upgraded guidance comes into effect immediately and operators will need to ensure that procedures are put in place to comply with the new guidance which has now been put on a statutory footing.   Regulatory bodies, such as environmental health departments, will also now have the power to enforce measures such as the data collection of customers.”

For information on mandatory collection of customers details click here.

For information on the new statutory guidance click here.

In responding to the announcement the SLTA said:-

“The vast majority of responsible operators have already put in place more stringent measures to ensure the proper collection of customer details and it is imperative that the whole industry now adheres to the new statutory guidance and the mandatory collection of customers details to avoid even further restrictions in operating.

Whilst a large number of businesses (national and independent) have chosen the provision of QR code based systems to comply with Test and Protect this, as has been shown in a number of reported cases, has just relied on customers using the system with no insistence or intervention from staff to ensure that contact details have been properly registered.  Likewise, simply providing a pen and paper for customers to sign without insistence or intervention by staff is no longer acceptable.

The SLTA cannot emphasise enough that, what is currently for some, a voluntary/staff non-intervention approach to the collection of customers details is no longer acceptable. Quite simply there must be additional staff intervention and service restrictions if customers fail to provide their contact details.   

There must be a level playing field for all, so that we “don’t punish the many for the mistakes of the few”.

Turning to the ban on background music the Association commented that:-

“It cannot be underestimated the disappointment and concern for the future of the hospitality industry over the Government’s decision that there should be no background music or noise from TVs in hospitality venues.

Whilst the Government says that this is absolutely necessary, the views of some within the hospitality industry differ and the SLTA, SBPA and the Music Venues Trust are working together to provide evidence that this ban is counter-productive to what is trying to be achieved.”

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