Following the recent announcement from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson that pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers are set to reopen on the 4th of July, providing they implement COVID-Secure measures, they have released their post-lockdown government advice for pubs.
Coming in at a hefty 43 pages, the official guidance document goes into detail as to how pubs, restaurants, bars, hairdressers and many others will now have to operate from hereon in.
Broken down into clear sections, we’ve picked out some of the key topics covered and how you can be prepared.
1. Risk Assessment
Full risk assessments need to be carried out before reopening. Failure to do so could see a breach of health and safety laws.
Results of the risk assessments must be shared with employees, and ideally posted onto the company website too, although for smaller businesses with less than 50 employees, this isn’t strictly necessary.
As with any establishment that serves food, a notification similar to a Food Hygiene Rating should be displayed in a clear place within the pub or restaurant, to show the measures that have been introduced. Again, putting this on your website should also be a consideration.
2. Keeping Customers and Visitors Safe
Pubs, restaurants and bars need to look at reconfiguring furniture to maintain social distancing guidelines, which have been reduced from 2 metres to 1 metre, but only “where 2m is not possible”.
Clear signage on entry and increased hygiene measures need to be put in place to achieve safe queuing spaces.
One-way systems should be considered and for families with small children, they should be aware that they are responsible for them, and to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Indoor children’s soft play areas should remain closed, and although outdoor playgrounds can be used, they should be managed safely.
3. Who Needs to go to Work
The key message still remains the same – those who can work from home should.
Consider all essential members of staff. Do all employees need to return? If possible you should plan for the minimum number of staff members to be on site to operate effectively and safely.
Administrative staff should have all necessary equipment to be able to work from home if possible.
4. Social Distancing for Workers
Social distancing guidelines remain in place not only for customers, but staff too. You must maintain social distance on your premises wherever possible.
Where social distancing is not possible, any particular activities relating to business operation need to be considered whether that activity is crucial. Mitigating the risk of spreading the virus should be controlled with;
- Increased hand washing and surface cleaning
- Keeping the activity time of a certain task to as short as possible
- Reducing the contact with other employees by using ‘fixed teams or partnering’ – so that each employee comes into contact with as few other members of staff as possible
- Use screens wherever possible
Currently, and as of today (25th June 2020), venues that have live music, should not hold any music performances.
All restaurants, bars and pubs that have background music should keep this to a minimum to avoid the need for customers to raise their voices. This is to ensure that customers can talk to staff without the need to get too close and ultimately break social distancing guidelines.
6. Food and Drink Management for Customers
Staff should maintain social distancing at all times and when taking orders. Customer self-service of food should be restricted to table service only.
Disposable condiments should be used wherever possible, but for where this isn’t, they should be thoroughly cleaned after each use.
Contactless payments should be encouraged wherever possible and the location of the card readers should be easily accessible and clearly signed.
Contact with customers should be minimised as much as possible and screens or tables at tills should be installed.
7. Takeaway and Delivery of Food and Drink
Pubs, restaurants and bars that are offering a takeaway collection service should limit access to customers who are collecting their food. This could mean that customers would have to wait either outside in a clearly labelled place away from the main entrance, or to remain in their cars.
Ordering takeaways via phone or online should be encouraged.
8. Employee Safety and Cleaning
More frequent hand washing, surface cleaning and the use of screens/barriers should be carried out wherever possible.
If employees work on a shift-pattern basis, their arrival and departure times should be staggered to avoid an unnecessary contact.
Restaurants or venues that serve food, access to kitchen areas or walk-in fridges should be limited to as few employees as possible.
To avoid ‘touchpoints’, doors that are not fire doors, should be wedged open.
PPE equipment, if shown to be necessary by the Risk Assessment, should be provided free-of-charge to employees who require it.
Toilets should have clear signage as well as social distance markers, especially in areas where queueing usually forms. A limit on the number of people who can access the toilets should also be implemented.
If you own a business in the hospitality, retail or sports industry, our unique Defend+ hand sanitiser products could provide a cost-effective solution to your cleaning requirements.