Covid regulations checklist for restaurants, pubs and bars

11 Jan 2022
5 min read

The hospitality industry has been flooded with new rules throughout 2020. Outdoor dining only. Closing before 10 pm. No salt and pepper shakers! We’ve truly been tried and tested.

Whilst the constant change of regulations hasn’t been easy, one thing is for sure. We will come out the other side if we remain compliant and innovate together.

At HOPSY, we’re proud to support thousands of restaurants, pubs and bars to stay Covid secure. Our online solution makes compliance easier by ensuring venues across the UK are up to date with new guidelines.

And we want to help you too.

In this guide you will find an easy-to-follow checklist of Covid guidelines and how to address them stress-free.

Social distancing


Whilst new rules may come and go, social distancing is one that’s here to stay. Where possible, staff and customers must remain two metres apart. This can be reduced to one metre with risk mitigation i.e. using screens and barriers, increasing cleanliness further and employing fixed teams to reduce the risk of infection.

To optimise social distancing whilst keeping your covers to a maximum, make the most out of open walkways and minimise opportunities for crowding (such as the queue for the ladies).

Take advantage of the six-person rule and increase your smaller seating areas with adequate ventilation.

Test and trace

To avoid a hefty £4,000 fine, you’ll need to display an official NHS Test and Trace QR code to allow customers to check-in.

The good news is that it’s as easy as popping up a poster that you can download and tack it to the wall in an easy to scan area.

Covid risk assessment


With new regulations comes a new risk assessment. You’ll need to evaluate every step you take to minimise the risk of infection from your social distancing rules to a strict cleaning schedule.

Get started with our guide to nailing the . Whether you’re a pub landlord, restauranteur or bar manager, our risk assessment templates come with everything you need to get it right the first time around.

Protect staff whilst serving

Protecting your staff from catching the virus at work doesn’t have to be worrisome. Serving apps such as Sort-It reduce the need for in-person ordering. Gloves and visors also protect employees from common touchpoints such as used glasses or cutlery - whilst keeping hands clean of leftovers.

PPE for you and your customers


You must provide PPE for both your staff and customers. This includes sanitiser inaccessible locations (on tables if possible) as well as face masks for servers. Remember, if an employee shows any symptoms you must send them home immediately.

For collections it's recommended for customers to wear face masks while waiting, to avoid any confusion it's good practice to have a couple of spare masks to hand out in case anyone causes a fuss or doesn't have a face mask on hand.

Entrance and exit

Break up pinch points by having a separate entrance and exit with clear signage. This will also help to control reservation queues and gatherings in the smoking area.

Keep traffic one way

Avoid customer clusters by mapping out your venue with an IKEA style one-way system. From the kitchen to the bar, to the toilet and back again, use clear signage to address both staff and guests.


Remove touch points where the virus could be transmitted. Tabletop items including sauces can be provided on request only and non-fire doors can be pinned open. This will decrease crowding and time spent preparing tables too.

Cleaning process

cleaning process.jpg

A robust cleaning process is absolutely necessary in a Covid-19 world. Have a foolproof procedure that ensures surfaces are wiped down regularly and communal spaces are cleaned between use. This includes everything from ketchup bottles to booths. Check out the HOPSY

Less cash more contactless

Promote cashless payments which can reduce the risk of transmission by ensuring you have an adequate card payment system. Train staff to use roaming card terminals that accept contactless payments - avoiding the need for customers to hold or touch the device.

Employee training


Each of your employees will need to be formally trained to ensure each of the above points is met.

An online tool is the best way to achieve this. By using HOPSY’s [staff policy tool, you can store policies in one place, keep your team up to date with new changes with the click of a button and of course show total compliance.

By following each of the above steps, you’ll be Covid secure in no time.

If you’d like to stay up to date with the latest changes to the hospitality industry, join our growing community on Facebook at @HopsyUK.

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