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:
- Complete a health and safety risk assessment that includes the risk from COVID-19
- Provide adequate ventilation
- Clean more often
- Turn people away with COVID-19 symptoms
- Enable people to check in at your venue to help support National Test and Trace
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com We are here to help and support you.
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