A new law has come into effect today requiring venues to enforce the Rule of Six, display QR codes and process contact logs.
From Friday 18 September, any venue that fails to implement these measures can be fined up to £4,000.
Pubs, bars, restaurants, cafés, gyms, swimming pools, hotels, museums, cinemas, zoos, theme parks and hairdressers must all follow the new procedures – which have been introduced in an attempt to make all businesses nationwide COVID-secure.
It will now be compulsory, not just advisable, to enforce the Rule of Six – which means bookings of more than six people are banned.
It will be also mandatory for venues to collect customer, visitor and staff contact detail logs – with the information passed along to Test & Trace service to identify and isolate outbreaks.
Businesses will also need to display the official NHS QR code posters so customers can check-in at different premises once the app is rolled out nationwide.
If individuals choose to check-in using the QR code poster they do not need to register their attendance via any other route.
Local Authorities and police will have the power to fine non-compliant venues £1,000 for breaches.
Fines will rise to up to £4,000 for repeat offenders.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “It is vital we do all we can to control the spread of the virus. Businesses have already stepped up to ensure they are supporting the NHS Test and Trace effort, and it is essential contact logs and displaying NHS QR codes are mandatory so there is consistency across the country and the public can seamlessly provide their details.
“Venues should record and maintain contact details logs for customers, visitors and staff, and they should also download an official NHS QR code poster for their premises ahead of the launch of the NHS COVID-19 app.
“With cases rising, it is vital NHS Test and Trace continues to reach as many people as possible to prevent further transmission of the virus. Businesses have a duty to ensure this function is in place, and those not complying will face fines.”
Business Secretary Alok Sharma added: “With cases on the rise, each and every one of us needs to play our part to control the virus and to save lives.
“Businesses up and down the country have taken great steps to welcome customers back safely, but at this critical moment in the fight against the virus, we need to take these tough measures to reduce the risk of another national lockdown in the future.
“In order to keep these venues open and protect jobs, it is absolutely vital that businesses comply with these new regulations and make sure their customers are following the rules.”
More information on venue requirements can be found on the government website.