Covid-19

Covid-19: mandatory guest register for hospitality venues

As concern about the coronavirus outbreak grows, new guidelines have been put in place for the hospitality sector

Bars and restaurants will be required to keep a register of all guests in their venues under new hospitality guidelines released to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

Regular head counts and physical distancing requirements for casinos and venues with pokie machines are also in the new rules, developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand, and SkyCity.

After announcing a ban of indoor gatherings over 100 people earlier in the week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern signalled the Government would provide additional guidance to the hospitality sector.

Under the new guidelines, released on Saturday, hospitality venues must create and maintain a Covid-19 “guest register”. The register must include the date and time of a guest’s entry, as well as their full name, address, phone, and email address.

Guest details must be kept in the register for four weeks, with the Government stating the information will only be used for contract tracing if required by the Ministry of Health or a district health board.

The guidelines also require hospitality businesses to keep a regular headcount of people in their venue. Electronic gaming machines must be reconfigured “to allow appropriate physical distancing, while there will only be five people allowed at a casino game table".

People who enter a venue with “flu-like symptoms” can be evicted and barred for up to 14 days, the rules state.

Health Minister David Clark acknowledged the guidelines would have an impact on how people attended bars and restaurants, but said New Zealanders had to apply common sense given the current environment.

“Many of us look forward to a visit to a cafe or restaurant to mark special occasions or share time with friends and family. My hope is these changes will allow us to still make the most of these times while keeping us all safer,” Clark said.

Hospitality New Zealand chief executive Julie White praised the Government’s willingness to adapt and respond to the changing coronavirus situation, and said the new guidelines were “a practical solution for hospitality venues to continue to operate and help assist with reducing the transmission of Covid-19”.

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