Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced this morning that it will soon be compulsory for pubs, bars and restaurants to keep a record of customers’ contact details for the NHS Test & Trace programme.
Since businesses in the hospitality sector were given the green light to reopen to the public on 4th July, government guidance has urged the industry to take customer contact details for the scheme, but up until now, this has not been mandatory.
Now, Matt Hancock has said it will be made compulsory for these details to be stored for 21 days.
It’s believed that some operators have been using QR codes and digital check-ins to keep a record of customers, others have taken orders through apps, and some have kept hard-copy records.
Speaking to Mishal Hussain on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, Matt Hancock said: “We’re also going to enforce more strictly the rules around hospitality, including for instance you need to give your contact details when you go to hospitality, which so far has been voluntary.
“Large swathes of the hospitality industry have followed it and it’s very simple for them to do so.
“Some have chosen not to, so we’re going to make that compulsory as well.”
Mr Hancock also said this morning that the ban on gatherings of more than six people in England, which were announced last night, would be in place for the “foreseeable future”.
He said he hoped that “we can turn this around” in time for Christmas.
He continued: “We’re bringing real simplicity and clarity, and then of course enforcing against those who don’t do the right thing.”