NEW test and trace rules for pubs mean that EVERYONE over 16 has to sign in.
UK pub industry reps have today accused the Government of "stealthy backsliding on pub reopening rules".
The new rule – for when boozers open up their gardens for the first time in months on April 12 – means every single customer must now sign in on entry.
This is a huge change from last year, when just one member of a group could sign in post-lockdown.
Also, pubs might not be able to take payment inside, according to trade bodies UKHospitality (UKH), the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) and the British Institute of Innkeepers (BII).
They've written to Boris Johnson over fears that landlords will be hit with "an inability to not able to take payments indoors at reopening".
The shift is "a triple whammy for hard-pressed publicans who have been forcibly closed for months," they complained.
"It now seems the hospitality industry could be burdened with vaccine passports, and over-complicated test and trace rules.
"This could prevent millions of young people visiting the pub for months, unless they get themselves tested in advance," the group added.
They've hit out after the Government "also announced that all customers will need to sign into the pub on entry, rather than just one member of the group as was previously the case.
"This will add more confusion and inconvenience for customers and staff."
In a press release, they said: "Despite the ‘cautious’ approach to restarting the economy the industry had been relieved to hear that all restrictions would be removed by June 21st.
"The review into Covid Status Certification, led by Michael Gove, looks likely to recommend that pubs and other hospitality venues must demand immunity proof from people, to allow them to enter – with the threat of fines for venues if non-compliant.
"For reopening on April 12th, for outdoor services only, Government has refused to confirm that payment at the bar will be permitted.
"This means that customers returning to their local may be unable to make payment in outdoor spaces.
"This will be an even bigger problem for rural pubs with poor connectivity levels yet it is deemed safe to take payment inside in all shops and in non-licensed cafes and other venues from this point."
Restaurants and pubs in England will be able to serve customers in outdoor seating areas from April 12 in phase two of the lockdown easing.
They will then be given the green light to offer indoor seating from May 17, providing specific Covid conditions are met.
Thousands of punters have already booked slots in their locals but one said he called 20 pubs but “none have any space whatsoever”.
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