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by Freddie Sayers
Thursday, 25
June 2020

Name, please! Pub landlords face confusion over new rules

Freddie Sayers speaks to Peter Borg-Neal, CEO of a 28-strong pub group
by Freddie Sayers

Buried in the 34-page Government rulebook for pubs and restaurants reopening on 4th July is a requirement to collect contact details for everyone present. This is quite significant as, in the event of an outbreak, government contact tracers will have to be in touch with everyone present.

But talking today to Peter Borg-Neal, founder and CEO of a 28-strong pub group in the home counties, it quickly became clear that, with only a week to go, there are more questions than answers on this point.

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There’s no government system or app, no guidance as to how to verify identities (as Mr Borg-Neal told me, if someone gives Mickey Mouse, Florida, as their details he’ll have to accept it), and no-one seems to have thought about the Data Protection aspects. Technically speaking, if you gather people’s contact details you have to be GDPR compliant which is a horribly onerous undertaking — will pubs be immune? Will that breach EU law? Are pubs even legally allowed to pass that information to the Government if asked? Neither Mr Borg-Neal nor I were sure.

As for the rest of the regulations — no loud music, no singing, no dancing, no napkins on tables prior to food, and so on — he was confident that for his rural pubs that wouldn’t be a problem but suggested that nightclubs and inner city pubs of the kind that London is famous for face a very bleak future unless regulations are lifted further and more financial help is offered.

Have a watch.

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Malcolm Ripley
Malcolm Ripley
3 years ago

It’s not a pub! It’s a government tracing station with refreshments…….

Two choices :
A. Buy drinks at 2 to 3 times supermarket prices to be isolated from everyone else and have the government track and trace me…..
B. Go home, music, no plastic bubbles.

These pubs will have the atmosphere of a plastic bucket with an outlook not much different.

Quite clearly those in authority are too busy planning the next method of control for the sheep whilst sipping sherry at home.

Tom Hawk
Tom Hawk
3 years ago

We waited and waited and booked a table at our local for latch lifting time.. But the nanny attutude imposed by regulations made the visit sterile.

And for what extra protection being offered when people are crowding together on beaches and BLM demonstrations and supermarkets mingle thousands every day?

Shopping has gone the same way with changing rooms closed and one way walk routes (in contrast to supermarkets). The physical pleasure of going shopping has been taken away by regulators. There is no point in visiting the high street when the same goods are available on line.

The greatest sadness is that the regulators who are imposing this distruction on our lives do not loose their jobs. They live in a make believe bubble telling themselves they are doing a wonderful job.

Steve Craddock
Steve Craddock
3 years ago

I will definitely be going to a pub, perhaps several, when they open up. My purpose will be to try and help keep as many as I can from closing down for good. I know this will be a burden but I will try my level best. As regards GDPR, i think consent is the key: a simple paper form ideally with the layout common/used across several pubs… with the purpose of the data collection at the top and stating the 21 day retention period, the customers contact details in the middle (just a mobile number would be sufficient for the stated purpose) i am not sure a signature is even needed as entry would be consent. Don’t put the info anywhere near a computer…Simples, keep them in dated envelope in the safe, then shred after 21 days. Maybe put the suggested template on the internet for customers to complete ahead of a visit if they wish 🙂 Ensure door staff know what has to be on the forms so that they can accept any format of compliant forms they are handed. I have got my mask ready for my bus ride home already.