Pub and restaurant staff in Warwickshire are being abused by customers who are refusing to wear face masks
The hospitality industry is asking people to show them support and respect as they battle back after a tough year
Staff across Warwickshire are pleading with people to show support and respect after reports of some customers being aggressive when being asked to abide by Covid rules.
The county council has received a number of complaints from local pubs, bars and restaurants about rude customers refusing to wear faces masks or refusing to leave their contact details.
In some cases, the customers have become aggressive.
Another problem faced by the hospitality sector is the number of people making reservations and then not showing up.
A spokesperson for Warwickshire County Council said: "This all affects a venue’s ability to trade safely and successfully so people are being reminded to be considerate and to comply with the legal requirements that venues must fulfil to stay open and serve their local community.
"In the last couple of months demand for eating and drinking out has risen, which is great news, but along with that, so have the complaints Warwickshire businesses are receiving from residents not wanting to comply with the COVID-19 measures the businesses have in place.
"This has resulted in businesses being subjected to difficult customers and even no shows. Several landlords of bars, pubs and restaurants have experienced customers objecting to checking into venues using the NHS test and trace app or leaving their details via a form with a few cases resulting in refusal and subsequent aggression.
"To help local businesses, it is essential that residents support venues with the legal requirements they must fulfil to stay open and serve their local community."
It is a legal requirement for hospitality venues to have a system in place to request and record contact details of customers, visitors and staff to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Hospitality venues usually have the NHS QR code displayed and a paper-based system for anyone who does not have access to the NHS COVID-19 app. Failure to comply could lead to the venue having to pay a fine of up to £10,000 – a significant amount of money that would have a huge financial impact on most pubs and restaurants.
Dr Shade Agboola, Director of Public Health Warwickshire said: “If you choose to go out to a bar or restaurant, you’ll need to play your part and scan the NHS QR code or leave your contact details. Even if you’ve been vaccinated, it’s still important as it helps keep other customers and the venue staff safe all whilst helping the hospitality venues to stay open.
“I would also like to encourage residents who are planning to meet with others at a bar or restaurant to take an LFT (rapid test) in advance (up to 24 hours before) as part of their twice weekly routine testing.
“We all need to do the right thing for Warwickshire by continuing to take precautions to keep hospitality venues open and in business, which also includes people booking their first and second vaccinations as soon as they are invited.”
Cllr Margaret Bell, portfolio holder for adult social care and health added: “It’s great to be back enjoying our local pubs, bars and restaurants and we all want to see Warwickshire getting back to normal. It’s been a difficult year for so many businesses across the county, particularly hospitality venues, so it’s vital that we protect them and help them to stay open.
“When you’re visiting your local, you must check in at the venue to help control the spread of the virus. I understand that it can be frustrating to have to do this every time you visit a hospitality venue however it is a small price to pay to keep them open in the long run.
“Please also respect and the support the staff at the bars, pubs and restaurants that you’re spending time in. Landlords can’t risk getting a fine of up to £10,000 – that kind of cost could be make or break for many smaller venues and none of us want to see our favourite locals shutting their doors permanently.
“We can all work together and do the right thing for Warwickshire by checking into a venue by scanning the QR code or leaving your details, staying at your table, washing your hands regularly and continuing to socially distance.”
The free NHS COVID-19 app is a vital part of the NHS Test and Trace service. To download the app visit https://www.covid19.nhs.uk/For further information on the latest COVID-19 guidelines go to https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/coronavirus