England’s reopened pubs will collect customer names, keep record of patrons amid pandemic


No name? No pint.

Pub goers in England will reportedly have to share their names before ordering when bars and restaurants reopen across the pond next month amid the coronavirus health crisis.

After reopening on July 4, food-serving establishments must keep a record of customers who have visited for 21 days, Reuters reported on Wednesday. According to The Guardian, the measure of collecting people’s “contact details” will help the National Health Service’s (NHS) Test and Trace operation in the fight against COVID-19.

Pub goers in England will have to share their names before ordering when bars and restaurants reopen across the pond next month amid the coronavirus health crisis.

Pub goers in England will have to share their names before ordering when bars and restaurants reopen across the pond next month amid the coronavirus health crisis.
(iStock)

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“We will work with the sector to make this manageable,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said of the new step.

Commenting on the change, an executive for the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) voiced skepticism regarding the data collection.

“As an industry we will be doing everything we can to ensure both our customers and staff are safe in our pubs,” said Emma McClarkin, BBPA chief executive, per Reuters. “We do have significant concerns over the collection and storage of personal customer data when visiting the pub.”

After reopening on July 4, food-serving establishments must keep a record of customers who have visited for 21 days.

After reopening on July 4, food-serving establishments must keep a record of customers who have visited for 21 days.
(iStock)

A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, however, countered that the planned collection of information will be completely legal.

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“Many businesses, like hairdressers and restaurants, already record customer data through bookings,” the spokesperson told the outlet. “Businesses will temporarily be required to hold customer information like a person’s name and phone number so they can help the NHS Test and Trace Service if there is ever a local outbreak.”

About 75 percent of pubs in England – or 28,000 establishments – will be allowed to reopen on July 4, albeit with restrictions. The pubs have been closed since late March in response to the ongoing outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

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