Business advice on opening after lockdown

The Government announced that on the 15 June, non-essential shops can reopen in England. To reopen non-essential shop will need to meet guidelines to protect staff and shoppers

Re-opening and adapting your business and managing Covid-19 risks

See Closing certain businesses and venues in England on GOV.UK if your business is in the exceptions column you may reopen. If your business is not in the exceptions column keep checking the list for updates to see if your business can reopen.

We are working with Cumbria County Council, Town and Parish Councils and a wide range of businesses and other organisations to ensure as much as possible that there is an understanding of the requirements that must be in place before reopening.

It is imperative that social distancing requirements remain in place to ensure you keep the transmission of infection to a minimum, so we can work towards the government’s next phase.

Each business has a responsibility placed on it carry out and implement an assessment, which identifies the risks and controls associated with Covid-19.

See the business check list of measures to control the risk of coronavirus (Word document: 27 Kb / 3 pages), which will help you in meeting your obligations.

Below are links to the most up to date information to assist you in the risk assessment process, as follows:

Practical tips

We are committed to continue to support businesses as much as possible during the current situation, caused by the pandemic. Below are some practical tips that should also help you and have been devised from officers practical experiences so far:

Early engagement of your workforce

Carry out a survey of your work force, establish their age, health status and any concerns that they may have. Work alongside your staff, consult with them, provide feedback and request their opinions on safe working practice. Provide any suitable Personal Protective Equipment or other necessary equipment and agree matters with your workforce. Exclude any staff that may be clinically vulnerable or unfit for work. Document your reasons for actions taken and keep matters under review.

It is widely acknowledged that an engaged workforce is more productive.

Managing queues responsibly

Where the business attracts the queuing public, it is the responsibility of the operator to effectively manage internal and external queues. It may be necessary to engage staff in marshalling procedures. For example: one in /one out process or agreement of a maximum number of persons to enter at any one time. Marking floor areas with a 2m distance and cordoning of areas to direct and control queues. You must consider space and social distancing available for the passing public on footpaths.

Assess and review your work activities

Screening of customer, till, preparation, service, packing, loading or other high traffic areas will also provide an effective barrier against transmission of disease between staff and customers, where practicable. Consider whether restricted sales / lines, best sellers or limited menus are more practicable in the current climate. Remember you can always review and increase lines as you become more confident in managing your new COVID 19 controls.

Minimise hand contact points

Restrict the availability of items in self-serve areas. Remove the need to 'touch' or ensure items can be effectively cleaned, for example: self-serve coffee machines, condiments, touch screen order points, customer trolleys /baskets and door handles.

Keep the door wedged open at all times when trading, for example: front doors and toilet main entrances, where possible. Well-ventilated areas within your premises will assist your controls. Regularly clean counter tops and any other points where customers may have touched or leaned. It may be necessary to assign persons to only this cleaning task, to ensure that hand contact points you identify are cleaned properly and at the correct regular intervals during your trading period.

Consider whether to cover display items to protect from contamination. Leave any items returned for a refund for a minimum 72 hours before you offer them for re-sale. Consider whether you can provide a customer hygiene station, the best place for this is at your business entrance. Consider viewings by appointment to reduce unnecessary customer contact.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Provide any necessary PPE as an additional barrier, where employees are working closer than 2m can wear face coverings and visors. Protective glasses may also be an option and can be cheaply and easily sourced from local DIY/ hardware stores. It is likely that PPE will provide some assurance particularly to staff and its use will be brought about by staff consultation.

Use PPE to supplement other hygiene measures, particularly where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain and within businesses where space restrictions are apparent.

Read the hierarchy of control on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website.

Important measures relating to personal hygiene have never been more important. See the advice on effective hand washing below.

It shall be borne in mind that any business that cannot safely maintain their reopening with satisfactory social distancing measures, shall remain closed.

Officers are proactively monitoring businesses and reacting to public complaints where necessary. You are strongly advised to maintain the highest standards possible. By doing so, you are also instilling confidence in the public that you serve.

We are not able to provide specific advice on completed risk assessments. The Business Operator is the person responsible and understands their own business activities sufficiently to control associated risks.

Further guidance

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