England’s pubs and restaurants will be forced to take punters’ contact details or face £1,000 fines in a coronavirus crackdown.
Hospitality venues, which also include cafes, have been told since July to keep customers’ details for 21 days.
The information is designed to help contact tracers track down people who might have caught Covid-19 at the venue.
But until now the policy was only voluntary in England – despite being made a legal requirement in Scotland.
This afternoon Boris Johnson said fines would now be levied against venues which do not comply.
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Mr Johnson said: “In future, premises where people meet socially will be legally required to request the contact details of a member of every party, record and retain these details for 21 days and provide them to NHS Test and Trace, without delay, when required.”
He added that social distancing marshals would also be introduced in city centres.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed it will now be a requirement in England too.
Now it is understood those who do not comply will face a £1,000 fine.
It has not yet been confirmed when the legal change will take effect.
Mr Hancock told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We’re also going to enforce more strictly the rules around hospitality, including for instance you need to give your contact details when you go to hospitality, which has so far been voluntary.
“Large swathes of the hospitality industry have followed it.
“Some have chosen not to, so we’re going to make that compulsory as well.”
Officials are hoping to introduce a QR code scanning system, part of the ill-fated Test and Trace app, to make it easier to “check in” to pubs without writing down details every time.
Council environmental health officers will be expected to help enforce the policy.
Ministers are setting up a register of recently qualified or retired environmental health officers in case councils need to recruit extra staff.