On July 4, after more than three months of closure, pubs in the United Kingdom will be allowed to reopen for limited service. Pubs won’t look like they usually do, however. New guidelines will require pubs to collect the names and contact details of everyone who enters for the purpose of contact tracing.
In an address to the House of Commons on June 24, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “I can tell the House [of Commons] that we will also reopen restaurants and pubs. All hospitality indoors will be limited to table service, and our guidance will encourage minimal staff and customer contact. We will ask businesses to help [the national healthcare system’s] NHS Test and Trace respond to any local outbreak by collecting contact details from customers as happens in other countries, and we will work with the sector to make this manageable.”
According to UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock, this system will be integral to “test and trace because the whole approach is to move as much as safely possible from a national lockdown towards targeted local action when we see an outbreak.”
Similar measures are taken in New Zealand, where hospitality venues must keep a register of guests’ full name, time of entry, address, phone number, and email.
Further details on the UK’s pub reopening plan will be revealed soon, but for now, don’t expect to be holding any clandestine meetings in public watering holes.
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