Government reverses outside-only payment rule following UKHospitality intervention
Hospitality venues plagued by lousy wi-fi and PDQ connections will breath a sigh of relief, following today’s update to the Government’s ‘Working Safely During Coronavirus‘ rules, which now allow customers to come inside to pay their bills – as a matter of “last resort”.
Prior to this update, venues opening on Monday had been told that payment must be taken outside at the customer’s table, a stipulation that would effectively prevent many venues in remote or rural areas with patchy wi-fi from opening at all (typically of the government, it also made no sense seeing as though customers are allowed inside to use the toilets).
Hospo trade group, UKHospitality, petitioned the Government to reverse this policy, and today it was announced that the intervention was successful and indoor payment will be allowed, although both UKHospitality and the Government stress the fact that customers should remain outside as much as possible, so payment inside should be a ‘last resort’.
UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls says of the development: “We are pleased that the Government listened to our members’ concerns and has acted pragmatically in the light of our lobbying efforts, revising its guidance to allow for payment indoors. This change means that the four in 10 hospitality venues that are able to open for outdoor trading from Monday 12 April will now be allowed to take payment indoors… While paying for food and drinks at the table is still the recommended method, this amended guidance means that pubs, bars and restaurants that do not have the facilities to process a card payment at the table, such as rural pubs with poor internet access, will now be able to process payments inside. This means that customers will not be forced to pay in cash at such venues, and it should be noted that card and contactless payments remain the safest payment methods during the pandemic.”