Cafes and restaurants failing to record customers’ contact details in test and trace farce

The owners of the Orso coffee shop, near Leicester cathedral: “We’re encouraging people but we’re not making it compulsory for sit ins. We’re not going to ask them to leave if they don’t. One guy last week simply signed Mr X we noticed later.”

A member of staff at nearby Holly’s cafe said: “We’re not operating track and trace but no one’s told us to, we would if we had to.

“We do eat ins and take outs here and have a diversity of people. But we’re running on less staff and we’re busy just trying to serve people.”

But Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, defended the sector, saying that discussions with members showed they were “overwhelmingly” following the guidance and carrying out track and trace procedures.

“It is possible that some venues or staff members are unsure about what sort of data they should take and how frequently,” she said.

”Our message to all our members, and the wider hospitality sector, is that they really should get on board with the scheme. We need to keep people safe and be seen to be doing so.”

“Businesses are encouraged to develop a method that works for them. They have been given the freedom to do so, so there should be few excuses.

“It is in their interests to keep everyone safe and avoid further closures.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “The NHS Test and Trace Service is an integral part of the government’s coronavirus recovery strategy, designed to help us return to a more normal way of life and reduce the risk of needing local lockdowns in the future.

“The system cannot operate without the cooperation of the nation. All cafes, pubs and restaurants have a duty to support Test and Trace to stop the spread of the virus.

“We call on members of the public to continue to play their part to break the chains of transmission.’’

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