LONDON, June 24 (Reuters) - Drinkers in England’s pubs will have to give their name before they order a pint, and there will be no live acts or standing at the bar, the government said in advice for re-opening the sector next month.
Pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will have to keep a record of customers for 21 days to assist the state health service’s test and trace operation, which aims to identify and contain any local flare ups of COVID-19 and stop a second wave of infections.
Live performances, including drama, comedy and music, will also not be allowed, the government said.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday pubs, restaurants and hotels could reopen in England on July 4, easing the coronavirus lockdown that has all but shut the economy.
He also reduced social distancing from 2 metres to 1 metre, a change that will allow many more pubs and restaurants to reopen.
The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) said 75% of pubs in England – 28,000 in total – would be able to reopen. Under 2 metre social distancing rules, only a third of England’s pubs – 12,500 – would have been able to reopen.
“As an industry we will be doing everything we can to ensure both our customers and staff are safe in our pubs,” BBPA Chief Executive Emma McClarkin said.
“We do have significant concerns over the collection and storage of personal customer data when visiting the pub.”
Business Minister Alok Sharma said he would consult with the industry on data regulation, noting that restaurants and hairdressers already kept information when people made bookings.
“We what to work with the sector, we want to work with trade unions, to make sure we get this absolutely right and I’ll be doing that later on this week,” he told LBC radio on Wednesday.
Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Alison Williams