This week's R&C bulletin looks at how the re-opening of pubs in England worked, the local covid-19 restrictions in Leicester, Data protection guidance for RESTAURANTS, PUBS, BARS AND TAKEAWAY SERVICES, and the chancellor's summer stimulus package.


Super Saturday - How did it go?

  • Market reports suggest 18,300 or 45% of England’s 40,600 pubs and bars reopened on Saturday after the 15-week lockdown
    • Most of the major pub groups opened 80+% of their pubs
    • Many favoured a phased re-opening in order to "learn and adapt" from "successes and occasional teething problems" and to ensure all relevant safety measures were in place
    • Greene King chose not to open its 1,700 pubs, instead choosing to open on 6 July
  • How did it go?
    • Pubs opening on high streets appeared to boost footfall, which was up 19.6% on Saturday and 28.3% on Sunday compared with the previous weekend
    • Revenue had been anticipated by some groups to be around 50% of normal for a July weekend, which is where it turned out
    • Generally the learnings from pub openings in Germany in particular proved to be very useful and directly comparable
    • See below on the data support for NHS Track and Trace
  • Problems?
    • Managers at one national pub operator reported 40 visits from combinations of EHOs, Police and licensing officers but there were no closure orders or other enforcement measures taken with customers on the whole behaving politely and responsibly
    • The same operator were asked not to show the football in one outlet across the estate because no other licensed premises in that city were showing it (voluntarily) and they accepted that if they did it would attract disproportionate numbers to the premises
    • Another National Pub Operator had 200 checks by the authorities (but this fits with its estate profile - mainly city & town centre traditional pubs)

OVERVIEW OF THE LOCAL COVID RULES APPLYING IN LEICESTER

  • The new rules applying to large parts of Leicester (determined by reference to postcode) look familiar, including:
    • Closure of all shops and except for essential retail eg petrol stations, supermarkets, pharmacies, newsagents, hardware stores, banks, dentists, vets, and post offices
    • Closure of food and drink outlets for on-premises consumption
    • Closure of specific businesses and services e.g. cinemas, barbers, museums, swimming pools, zoos, conference centres, library services
    • Closure of hotels, hostelries, bed and breakfasts, campsites, caravans and other forms of holiday rental other than for specific purposes such as housing those unable to return home or attending funerals
    • Closure of places of worship except for funerals, broadcasting services, providing essential voluntary services, for childcare, or for private individual prayer
    • Closure of community centres except to provide essential voluntary services or for childcare
    • Closure of crematoriums except for funerals or burials (this does not extend to burial grounds and gardens of remembrance)
    • Facilities such as broadcast media, facilities for training elite sportspeople, and blood donation centres can continue to operate
    • No one is allowed to stay overnight anywhere in the protected area other than where they live unless it is in a linked household or they have a reasonable excuse (such as needing to do so to attend a funeral or to fulfil a legal obligation)
    • No outdoor gatherings of more than 6 or indoor gatherings of more than 2 subject to certain exceptions e.g. the participants are from linked households, or are attending a funeral of a close family member or member of the household or that the gathering is necessary for work purposes or childcare
  • Enforcement - Prohibition Notices, fixed penalty notices on an escalating scale in relation to failure to disperse, unlimited fines for breaches by individuals, corporations or (if a company's senior management consent or turn a blind eye to a breach) senior managers
  • The regulations creating these restrictions must be reviewed every 14 days
  • There are no restrictions on movement in or out of the city (although only essential travel is encouraged)
  • This looks like the template for any other future local lockdowns which will doubtless look for clear and consistent measures and thresholds (testing rates, infection rates, hospitalisation rates, death rates etc) to determine whether and when to impose and relax any lockdown

DATA PROTECTION GUIDANCE FOR RESTAURANTS, PUBS, BARS AND TAKEAWAY SERVICES

  • Government guidance:
    • Requests that pubs, bars, restaurants and takeaway services to keep a temporary record of customers for 21 days to support the NHS Test and Trace - some organisations will already have access to this information due to their online booking system, but they may need to implement functionality changes and many are simply using paper records   
    • The requested records relate to staff and employees, including contact details, arrival and if possible departure dates/times, name of assigned staff member if relevant
  • ICO ‘ABCDE’ guidance framed by data minimisation, security and transparency principles:
    • Ask only for what’s needed
    • Be transparent with customers
    • Carefully store the data
    • Don’t use it for other purposes
    • Erase it in line with government guidance (21 days)
  • Other EU countries have had mixed success in implementing similar obligations
  • Voluntary system - it is not clear if there is any statutory obligation on businesses (although there will be strong reputational driver) and it is not mandatory for customers

FOOTNOTES

  • Mitigation not stimulation 
    • Rishi Sunak’s announcement yesterday is of course creating great interest, with a very strong focus on the R&C sector, which gave it a qualified welcome, it being clear (as he said) that this is the next stage of economic support, rather than a full and final strategy
    • there will be more challenge, confusion, contradictions and clarifications to come, as with all previous real-time government measures - more to follow on what it will mean in practice
  • Amidst the Covid19 crisis, the 30 June deadline for extension having come and gone, Brexit is finding its way back into the headlines and is already very visible in commercial planning and negotiations (and indeed preparatory work on supply chain agility by many businesses has helped them considerably during recent months) - more to follow 

 

Key Contacts

Dr. Nathalie Moreno

Dr. Nathalie Moreno

Partner, Commercial Services
London

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David Young

David Young

Partner, Health & Safety
London

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