COVID-19 - Advice for re-opening businesses
As lockdown begins to ease and businesses begin to re-open, or consider re-opening, there are some issues that need consideration:
- Businesses need to be COVID-19 Secure to ensure that their businesses protect employees and customers against COVID-19.
- Businesses should follow the GOV.UK - Five steps to working safely guide.
- GOV.UK - Opening certain businesses and venues in England from 4 July 2020
West Suffolk Council have produced the following guidance:
- Creating safer places - West Suffolk is working with partners to help make places are safe and to support businesses as they re-open
- Safer Places - business information pack - including information signs and posters for shops
- Guidance for retail businesses on risk assessing operations in line with coronavirus and health and safety regulations when re-opening
- Face coverings - advice and guidance on the wearing of face coverings
- Advice for re-opening hairdressing salons, barbers and beauty salons (which may also be useful to leisure, spa, skin piercing and pother similar businesses
- Advice for food businesses
Pavement licenses: (amended 24 July 2020) Applications are open in West Suffolk for temporary pavement licences to help cafés, restaurants and pubs trade during COVID-19 and keep people safe.
The move by West Suffolk Council follows new legislation just agreed by Government to ease previous restrictions on putting items such as tables and chairs outside premises for the sale of food or drink for consumption.
A fast track process has been introduced so premises can apply, relevant consultees can have their say and a decision made in a much shorter time. Government allows councils to charge up to £100 to apply but West Suffolk Council has agreed during this time to make the process free. More information can be found at Street trading and vending
Risk assessment for coronavirus - practical points to consider
Employers and self-employed people need to carry out a risk assessment to identify what needs to be done to protect workers and others from the risk of coronavirus.
When carrying out the risk assessment you need to:
- identify what work activity or situations might cause transmission of the virus
- identify who could be at risk
- decide how likely it is that someone could be exposed
- act to remove the activity or situation that places someone at risk, or if this is not possible, identify what can be done to control the risk
If you have fewer than five employees, you do not have to write anything down, but it is good practice if you do. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has guidance on H&S ABC – an easy guide to health and safety. as well as Health and Safety made simple, both includes advice on risk assessments.
There is also further HSE guidance: Working safely during the coronavirus outbreak.
For the Government's latest guidance on the collection of personal details and how to maintain records of staff, customers and visitors to businesses in support of NHS Test and Trace, please go to: Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace
Re-opening your business and Legionella risk
When buildings reopen after lockdown, it is essential that water systems are not put back into use without considering the risks of Legionnaires’ disease. There is an increased risk of waterborne pathogens such as Legionella bacteria being present because of the reduced occupancy and use buildings have had during lockdown. Legionella guidance has been specially written by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) for businesses so that they know about the risk and what to do about it before reopening their business.
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