People might need to register before going to the pub and order drinks using an app, Matt Hancock said today.
The Health Secretary confirmed the options are being considered as ways to make it ‘safe’ to reopen the hospitality industry.
Mr Hancock insisted that the government is ‘on plan’ to get more sectors of the economy up and running on July 4. Boris Johnson is expected to announce this week that the two-metre social distancing rule is being halved.
But he made clear that there is little chance of bars and restaurants getting back to business as usual any time soon.
Asked on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge programme whether drinkers will need to register before going to the pub, and order using an app, Mr Hancock said: ‘That is the sort of thing that we are looking at for how do you make it safe to open things… I wouldn’t rule it out.’
The step – previously taken in countries such as New Zealand – would allow for easier tracing of customers if someone who went to the venue is found to have been infected.
The PM is set to unveil a new ‘one metre plus’ rule within days and give Britons the green light for holidays and haircuts as he tries to breathe life back into the economy.
Mr Johnson now looks certain to halve the social distance – as long as other protections such as face coverings are used – in a crucial moment for the coronavirus battle on Tuesday.
The next phase of lockdown loosening from July 4 will also permit hairdressers to roll up the shutters in a boost for thousands of barbers and millions of shaggy-haired Britons in need of a trim.
The UK holiday season will start within a fortnight when the Prime Minister gives the green light to hotels and vacation parks to reopen.
Although Downing Street insisted no final decision has yet been taken on restarting the £130billion-a-year domestic tourism industry, The Mail on Sunday has been told an announcement could come along with the other changes.
New advice is then likely to be sent to British tourism chiefs by the end of the week.
Meanwhile, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is preparing another huge package of tax cuts and spending to revive UK plc after lockdown. VAT is set to be slashed as part of efforts to prop up struggling businesses and stave off mass unemployment.