The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is to lead a new ministerial-led taskforce for pubs and restaurants that will develop plans on how and when the sector can reopen safely.
The taskforce is one of five such bodies set up to examine closed sectors. The others are:
- non-essential retail (including salons) (led by BEIS)
- recreation and leisure, including tourism, culture and heritage, libraries, entertainment and sport (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
- places of worship (Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government)
- international aviation (Department for Transport)
The Cabinet Office said: “Businesses and shops in indoor environments or with closer contact between people, like pubs, hotels and non-essential retail, will likely have a higher risk of transmission, as is the case with many places of worship.
“It is the Government’s ambition to open as many of these other businesses and public places as possible over the coming months, when the scientific advice provided allows us to.”
It added: “These taskforces will be crucial to the reopening of Britain’s economy and each one will lead on developing new COVID-19 secure guidelines for the reopening of public places and businesses, where and when it is safe to do so.”
The Cabinet Office said that, “as part of this science-led approach”, each taskforce would work across Government and engage with key stakeholders in public health, industry, trade unions and devolved administrations to:
- ensure that COVID-19 secure guidelines are developed in line with the phased approach and public health directions, building on the existing guidance and providing intelligence and sector-specific expert input
- agree and ensure alignment of all relevant sectoral guidance
- provide key sector stakeholders direct access to Ministers to shape the guidance.
Further details on the taskforces can be viewed here.