COVID-19 guidelines for retail and hospitality businesses
On 21 February 2022, the government published its plan for living with COVID-19 including the removal of domestic restrictions from 24 February
You can read the government’s Living with COVID-19 plan
From 24 February
There will be no legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive test for COVID-19. Adults and children who test positive are advised to stay at home if they can and avoid contact with others for at least 5 full days and follow guidance until they have received 2 negative tests on consecutive days.
Unvaccinated close contacts will no longer be legally required to self-isolate and fully vaccinated close contacts will no longer be advised to test for 7 days. New guidance will set out precautions for reducing risk to yourself and others.
Staff will not be legally obliged to tell their employers when they are required to self-isolate. Businesses and workers should follow Government guidance for those with COVID-19.
Routine contact tracing will end. Contacts will no longer be required to self-isolate or advised to take daily tests. Instead, guidance will set out precautions that contacts can take to reduce risk to themselves and other people - and those testing positive for COVID-19 will be encouraged to inform their close contacts so that they can follow that guidance.
The Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme will end.
From 24 March
The Government will remove the Covid-19 provisions within the statutory Sick Pay and Employment and Support Allowance regulations
From 1 April
The Government will no longer provide free universal symptomatic and asymptomatic testing for the public in England.
Limited symptomatic testing will be available for a small number of at-risk groups
Removal of the current guidance on domestic voluntary COVID-status certification and will no longer recommend that certain venues use the NHS COVID Pass.
Guidance will be published on the ongoing steps people with Covid-19 should take to minimise contact with other people.
The health and safety requirement for employers to explicitly consider COVID-19 in their risk assessments will be removed. The intention is to empower businesses to take responsibility for implementing mitigations that are appropriate for their circumstances
The Government will replace the existing ‘Working Safely’ guidance with new public health guidance.
Businesses should continue to consider the needs of employees at greater risk from COVID-19, including those whose immune system means they are at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19.
Making your business safer
All businesses still have a legal duty to manage risks to those affected by their business.
The way to do this is to carry out a health and safety risk assessment, including the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to reduce the risks you identify. For more information, read HSE Guidance.
There are some key actions that could make your business safer for your staff and customers.
You should also read the full version of the guidance from GOV.UK.
COVID-19 safety measures that should be included in your risk assessment
You should make sure there is a supply of fresh air to indoor spaces where there are people present. You should identify any poorly ventilated spaces in your premises and take steps to improve fresh air flow in these areas.
In some places, a CO2 monitor can help identify if the space is poorly ventilated.
You can read more about ventilation safety on the GOV.UK website.
Continue with enhanced cleaning. Frequently clean surfaces and items that people touch a lot.
Continue with enhanced hand hygiene. Ask your staff and your customers to use hand sanitiser and to clean their hands frequently. Put hand sanitiser in key areas of the business and display visual reminders, like posters.
People are no longer required by law to wear face coverings, however the government suggests that people continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where they come into contact with other people they do not normally meet.
Testing guidance has changed. More information is available on the NHS website.
Lateral flow testing – for people who do not have symptoms
Testing regularly increases the chances of detecting COVID-19 when you are infectious but are not displaying symptoms. Your staff can get tests from pharmacies, order online or by calling 119.
Staff should take rapid tests if:
- they are eligible for new Covid-19 treatments
- before visiting people who are at higher risk of severe illness if they get COVID-19
- they have tested positive for Covid-19 and want to check if they are still infectious after 5 days
- they work, volunteer, or visit somewhere that is high risk.
PCR Test – for people who have symptoms
Anyone who has any symptoms of COVID-19, even mild, must stay at home, avoid contact with others self-isolate immediately and get a COVID-19 PCR test.
Turn away people with COVID-19 symptoms
Staff members or customers should stay at home if they can and avoid contact with other people if they have a persistent cough, a high temperature or have lost their sense of taste or smell.
If someone in your workforce has symptoms or has tested positive you must ensure they should do not come into the workplace. If they have been at work in the 2 days before testing positive, carry out deep cleaning throughout your premises.
When to stay at home if you have coronavirus (COVID-19) and what to do.
COVID-19: people with COVID-19 and their contacts.
Coronavirus: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread.
Adults and children aged 12 and above are eligible for the vaccine. Children aged 5 to 11 who are in a clinical risk category or live with someone who is immunosuppressed are now also eligible for a specific COVID-19 vaccine for young children.
Book online, call 119 or visit a walk-in session.
You can get more information on the Covid-19 vaccine on the Sussex Health and Care website.
Communication and staff training
Keep all your workers, contractors and visitors up to date on COVID-19 safety measures.
Sending out social media updates and making it clear on the business’s website what safety measures you have in place will make your customers feel safer.
If you have any queries about operating safely, send an email to EHL.Food@brighton-hove.gov.uk.