Making your business safer
Even though specific COVID-19 regulations have been lifted, 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.
Below are nine 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 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.
Hand hygiene and face coverings
Continue with enhanced hand hygiene. Ask your staff and your customers to use hand sanitiser and to clean their hands frequently. Provide hand sanitiser in key areas of the business and display visual reminders, such as posters.
The government expects and recommends that people continue to wear face coverings in crowded, enclosed spaces, as when worn correctly, they may reduce the risk of transmission. Urge staff to continue wearing face coverings when at work and encourage customers with the use of signs.
Enable people to check in at your venue
You’re no longer legally required to collect customer contact details, but doing so will support NHS Test and Trace to contact those who may have been exposed to COVID-19 so that they can book a test.
Pubs, bars and nightclubs should consider the use of the NHS COVID Pass to reduce the risk of transmission
The NHS COVID Pass is a method of COVID-status certification. The NHS COVID Pass allows people to demonstrate that they’re at a lower risk of carrying COVID-19 and transmitting it to others, through vaccination, testing or natural immunity. It can help organisations to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
Regular lateral flow testing
Anyone who does not have symptoms can get regular rapid lateral flow tests (LFT) to check for COVID-19. People should do a rapid test twice a week (every 3 to 4 days) to check if they have the virus. If people test positive and self-isolate, it helps stop the virus spreading.
Please note, if a person does test positive after taking a LFT they must confirm this positive test result by having a PCR test.
Turn away people with COVID-19 symptoms
Staff members or customers should self-isolate 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 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.
You must also quickly work out if anyone from the workplace may have had contact with the person testing positive and decide who should self-isolate. This is critical to help limit the spread among your workforce and customers.
New guidance from 16 August
From 16 August, anyone who is double vaccinated or under 18 no longer needs to self-isolate if they are a contact. However, they should still do a PCR test and consider the following precautions until 10 days after their most recent contact with the person who tested positive:
- limiting close contact with people outside their household, especially in enclosed spaces
- wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces and where they are unable to maintain social distancing
- limiting contact with anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable
- taking part in regular lateral flow testing
Advise staff they should not have a PCR test if they have previously received a positive PCR test result in the last 90 days, unless they develop any new symptoms of COVID-19. It is possible for PCR tests to remain positive for some time after a COVID-19 infection.
All adults are eligible for the vaccine. You can read about how to get a 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 around operating safely, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.