Drinkers could be made to hand over contact details at bar

Nicola Sturgeon said the proposal would allow people to be swiftly contact-traced if someone tests positive for coronavirus.

Bars and restaurants collecting the names and contact details of customers when they reopen is “very firmly” being considered for Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The First Minister said the proposal would allow people to be swiftly contact-traced if someone tests positive for coronavirus and is an idea that has “a lot of merit”.

The hospitality sector was unable to reopen at the start of phase two of lockdown easing, with Sturgeon citing “very strong emerging evidence” that pubs and restaurants could be sites of coronavirus “super spreading”.

Sturgeon announced last week that she has commissioned further scientific advice about how to reopen bars and restaurants safely and on Monday said the idea of collecting contact details was “under consideration”.

Asked about the possibility of drinkers providing their details, which is also being considered by the UK Government, she said: “Yes I think that is something that may very well be necessary.

“I don’t want to pre-empt the advice that I’ve asked for around physical distancing but if we think about how test and protect works and the importance of contact tracing, then I think in particular environments and settings the ability to have the contact details of people in order to quickly track them is certainly something that has a lot of merit.

“Obviously we will publish guidance more generally ahead of different sectors reopening but I would say very firmly at this stage that that is something that is under consideration.”

The First Minister has previously said she hopes to have the further evidence by July 2, when she will make a decision about whether pubs can open beer gardens “or if further mitigations are required ahead of phase three”.

She added: “I appreciate this will be hard for the hospitality industry.
“I want to give an assurance to businesses in that sector that we will continue to support preparations for reopening, for example, by encouraging local authorities to facilitate the use of open outdoor spaces which pubs and restaurants can use for additional space.”

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