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New easing of lockdown guidance for businesses

With each easing of lockdown, new guidance is published for industry sectors.

Following the Government announcement yesterday, new guidance has been issued for pubs, restaurants, bars and takeaway services. 

The main aspects are:

  • Premises must prepare and implement a risk assessment to take account of covid, and failure to do either can result in enforcement under H&S legislations
  • 2m social distancing is still required unless not viable, then minimum of 1m with mitigation (hand washing, limiting contact time, screens or barriers, back to back or side to side working, reducing number of people in contact)
  • A “Staying COVID-19 Secure in 2020” poster should be displayed to demonstrate met all requirements
  • Requirement on venues to manage queues and have systems in place, as well as clear signage, controlling numbers of people in venue, toilets etc and have a plan in place to maintain even in adverse weather conditions
  • Providing disposable condiments, use contactless payment where possible, and ensuring adequate ventilation
  • Encourage use of apps to order, table service only and encouraging use of outdoor areas where possible
  • Toilets should be kept open and managed, including cleaning regimes, ventilation
  • Clear guidance to customers about behaviour and lack of social distancing will mean lack of service, and included outside the premise (guidance indicates LA and Police will be allowed to enforce social distancing issues and gatherings and have powers to issue FPNs)
  • Use the minimum amount of staff to work to ensure safety, as work from home / stay at home remains the message
  • Putting in place controls around staff to minimise contact and risk, including staggered shifts and minimising people in the kitchens, as well as working in “bubbles” so isolates risk to small groups
  • No live entertainment for foreseeable future, refraining from playing any more than background music to prevent need to shout / raise voices
  • People do not have to adhere to social distancing if there is an emergency
  • The Government has issued separate guidance about cleaning in food premises
  • Put in controls around deliveries including cleaning and contacts
  • Indoor gatherings can only be up to 2 households (including social bubbles), outdoor gatherings of the same or group of maximum 6 people from any number of households (guidance)
  • It is illegal to gather in groups of 30 or more (law) unless certain circumstances
  • Local authorities told to avoid issuing licences for any event that will lead to a large gatherings
  • All guidance has been changed to reflect the 2m / 1m rule, but contrary to belief the aim is always 2m unless can show not viable but then have to clearly have in place mitigation.  If cannot operate at 1m with mitigation, or can only operate less than 1m, then should not open.  Exceptions are in place for close contact businesses (e.g. hairdressers) where visors must be worn at all times

You can find out more about this guidance by visiting GOV.UK.

Published: 24th June 2020