COVID-19 Move to Step 4 from 19 July 2021

Hospitality Key Considerations

The Government announced that the country is moving to Step 4 of the roadmap on Monday 19 July 2021. However, we are at a crucial stage in the pandemic and locally our infection rates are high.

Some COVID-19 legislation will cease to have effect from the 19 July, but Health and Safety legislation remains, as does Public Health legislation. Local Authorities can still issue Directions where there is a serious and imminent threat to Public Health. This could for example require a business to close. 

As a business you will need to carry out a risk assessment re: COVID-19 and are required to have COVID-19 controls in place. It is a legal requirement to maintain health and safety risk assessments and to have safe systems of work in place.  

Government have produced working safely guidance for businesses: gov.uk.

There ia also specific guidance specifically for restaurants/bars/pubs/nightclubs/takeaway services.  

The guidance outlines 6 key steps for you to take: 

  1. Complete a health and safety risk assessment that includes the risk from COVID-19 
  2. Provide adequate ventilation 
  3. Clean more often 
  4. Turn people away with COVID-19 symptoms 
  5. Enable people to check in at your venue to help support National Test and Trace 
  6. Communicate and train 

The guidance outlines many different COVID-19 controls. Your risk assessment must consider the guidance along with any local issues eg infection rates/vulnerabilities of your staff/customers/visitors etc.   

It’s important to note that COVID-19 risk assessments will need reviewing/updating as the pandemic progresses and there are significant changes. They must also be communicated to all staff and relevant parts to anyone who needs to know. 

Some Key considerations 

  • Businesses should exercise caution in the relaxation of current COVID-19 controls considering current infection rates, vulnerabilities of their staff/customers/visitors.  
  • Health and Safety risk assessments re: COVID-19 should be revisited and reviewed. Government guidance should be considered in the determination of risk assessments.
  • Key controls within risk assessments may be for example, social distancing, screens, adequate ventilation, frequent cleaning and good hand hygiene. 
  • Businesses that are re-opening should also consider other risks (apart from COVID-19) eg: 
    • Water system management and Legionella – the total or partial closure of businesses raises the need for effective controls to maintain the safety of water systems 
    • Consider the checklist put together by the Food Standards Agency to support food businesses re-opening safely during COVID-19 after a period of inaction
    • Inspect your premises to check for any evidence of pests. 
    • Any equipment/plant that has not been used for a long time may need servicing. 
    • Ensure any lifts are up to date with maintenance/service/thorough examinations 
  • The definition of a contact is still the same. Positive cases and contacts of positive cases will still be legally required to self-isolate, to help break chains of transmission.  
  • There will be an isolation exemption for contacts of positive cases for under 18s and for double vaccinated adults from 16 August.  
  • If social distancing is relaxed, you may find more staff having to self isolate which could result in your business having to temporarily close due to lack of staff. 
  • While the government is no longer instructing people to work from home, a return to the workplace should be gradual and businesses should follow the published guidance.  
  • If staff are to return to the workplace consider vulnerabilities – are individual staff risk assessments needed considering their health/place of work/job role/ journey to/from work/ vaccination status etc. 
  • Nightclubs and other venues with large crowds are encouraged to make use of the NHS COVID-19 Pass, which shows proof of vaccination, a recent negative test or natural immunity, as a means of entry.
  • All staff should be encouraged to get double vaccinated. Protection from vaccination increases significantly from first to second dose.  
  • Double vaccinated staff will not have to self-isolate as contacts from the 16 August which will help to minimise disruption to your business and reduce the risk of onward transmission of the virus. 
  • All staff should be encouraged to take regular Lateral Flow Tests if asymptomatic (no symptoms). Twice a week is recommended. 
  • Staff with the 3 main symptoms of COVID-19 - high temperature/new continuous cough/change in taste/smell must stay at home and book a free PCR test as soon as possible. Staff can register online at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
  • Sometimes, people with COVID-19 do not have the three main symptoms listed above. Instead, they may have any of the following symptoms: diarrhoea/sore throat/muscle or full body aches/tired and unwell/headache that lasts a long time/blocked or runny nose/sickness or vomiting.  
  • If staff don’t have the three main symptoms, but feel ill with other symptoms on the list, they should also book a free PCR test. They don’t have to stay at home while they wait for the results. They would only have to do that if they get a positive result for COVID-19. Staff can register online at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

If you have 2 or more cases of COVID-19 within your staff over a 14-day period, please contact Manchester City Council at eh.testandtrace@manchester.gov.uk You may have an outbreak and we can help support you 

If you have any queries re: COVID-19 re: cases/COVID controls etc please contact eh.testandtrace@manchester.gov.uk We are here to help and support you. 

Please keep up to date with changes by regularly visiting:  

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