Business Updates

Business Updates

COVID-19 ADVISORY NOTE FOR HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES FOR STAGE FOUR IN THE LOCKDOWN ROADMAP

Active as of 20 July 2021

NOTE: This advisory note has been produced with reference to the latest guidance and may be subject to change. The guidance has been interpreted with regard to general principles rather than specific examples, and as observed – particularly regard should be paid to full Government guidance and GOV.UK. 

UK GOVERNMENT POSITION

As of 19th July 2021, legal restrictions have been lifted and all businesses are now able to re-open. COVID-19 is still a risk to businesses and therefore there are still a number of precautions you can take to protect your staff, customers and business.

PRIORITY ACTIONS

1.     Complete a health and safety risk assessment that includes risks from COVID-19. You can find more information on risk assessments and HSE guidance. Don’t forget to share your risk assessment with staff.

2.     Turn people with COVID-19 symptoms away. This includes both staff and customers.

3.     Provide adequate ventilation, making sure there is a supply of fresh air to enclosed spaces where there are people present.

4.     Enhanced cleaning particularly of those surfaces that are touched a lot as well as prompting good hand hygiene to staff and customers.

5.     Allow people to check in at your venue, although no longer legally required, displaying an NHS QR code and being able to take details for customers to voluntarily check in will help to support NHS Test and Trace to reduce the spread of the virus.

6.     Communicate and train to keep your staff, customers and contractors up-to-date with safety measures.

Businesses should also read the full relevant guidance manual as set out below.

The Government has published a set of guidance notes on GOV.UK:

  • Hotels and guest accommodation

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19/hotels-and-guest-accommodation

  • Restaurants, pubs, bars, nightclubs and takeaway services

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19/restaurants-pubs-bars-nightclubs-and-takeaway-services

  • Events and attractions

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19/events-and-attractions

CORONAVIRUS: HOW TO STAY SAFE AND HELP PREVENT THE SPREAD

Although all legal restrictions have now been lifted the Government has published ‘Coronavirus: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread’[1] guidance sets out that while cases are high and rising, everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious.

Testing and self-isolating

The Government still requires everyone to test if they get symptoms using a PCR test and self-isolate. You will also need to self-isolate if you test positive or are asked to self-isolate by NHS test and trace / NHS app.

If an employee is self-isolating you should not ask them to come to work. From 16 August, those who are fully vaccinated will be exempt from the requirement to self-isolate if you are a contact of a positive case. Contacts will instead be advised to take a PCR test as soon as possible.

Anyone without symptoms should regularly test using Lateral Flow Testing kits. Encouraging employees to test regularly helps to stem workplace transmission, particularly if testing before coming in for a shift as this will help identify any positive cases of COVID-19 in the workforce before other employees are exposed.

Face coverings

Although now no longer a legal requirement, wearing a face covering protects those around you. The Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas.

Social distancing

Again, although now no longer a legal requirement, social distancing helps to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. The Government is encouraging people to stay outside where possible as well as maintaining a reasonable distance from others. They also recommend limiting the close contact you have with those you do not usually live with, and increase close contact gradually.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do

New Guidance on Moving to Step 4 of the Roadmap for England

Following the announcement on Monday 12th July of further relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions please see the update below it is confirmed that England will move to step 4 from the 19 July.

The Prime Minister said that we cannot return instantly to how life was before COVID-19. While cases are high and rising, everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious. The next steps have been set out in the moving to step 4 guidance published yesterday (see below).

New guidance on moving to step 4:

The Government has published new guidance on moving to step 4 of the roadmap for England that outlines the key protections that will remain in place, the pathway through the summer and the five-point plan to manage the virus in the next phase.

At step 4, while many of the legal restrictions that the Government has imposed through the pandemic will be lifted, cautious guidance will remain, making it clear this is not yet a return to normal. The Government will continue to manage the virus and provide guidance over the coming months.

Key protections that will be kept in place:
• Testing when people have symptoms and targeted asymptomatic testing in education, high risk workplaces and to help people manage their personal risk.
• Isolating when positive or when contacted by NHS Test and Trace or when advised to by the NHS COVID-19 app.
• Border quarantine: for all arriving from red list countries, and for those people arriving from amber list countries, other than those UK residents fully vaccinated in the UK vaccine programme.
Cautious guidance for individuals, businesses and the vulnerable whilst prevalence is high including:
• Whilst Government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can, Government expects and recommends a gradual return over the summer.
• Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport;
• Minimising the number, proximity and duration of social contacts.
• Encouraging and supporting businesses and large events to use the NHS COVID Pass in high-risk settings to help to limit the risk of infection. The Government will work with organisations that operate large, crowded settings where people are likely to be in close proximity to others outside their household to encourage the use of the NHS COVID Pass. If sufficient measures are not taken to limit infection, the Government will consider mandating the NHS COVID Pass in certain venues at a later date.

Pathway through the summer:
• In September, the Government will undertake a review to assess the country’s preparedness for autumn and winter, which will consider whether to continue or strengthen public and business guidance as winter approaches, including on face coverings and test, trace and isolate, and will review the remaining regulations.

The five-point plan to manage the virus in the next phase:
This five point-plan, set out in the COVID-19 Response: Summer 2021 will help manage the risks of living with the virus on the careful and cautious pathway back to normality.

Click here for the gov.uk website for the full update.

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