Eden District Council’s top 10 tips for businesses reopening

In February, Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out his Roadmap for reopening the country as lockdown restrictions are eased.

Schools and colleges have now returned, two households or up to six people are able to meet outdoors, outdoor leisure facilities have reopened and outdoor sports are allowed once more. From 29 March, the new 'stay local' order was implemented.

The next step out of lockdown is set to take place on 12 April, when:

  • Non-essential retail may reopen (including community centres; hair salons; zoos)
  • Holiday lets can reopen (and other hospitality venues with no shared/communal areas)
  • Hospitality venues may reopen, to serve food and drink outside, by table service-only

Emma Brass, Principle Environmental Health Officer at Eden District Council said, "As most businesses await further guidance from the Government on how and when to reopen their shops, cafes, restaurants and more, Eden District Council is suggesting the following top tips to consider before reopening.

"Although the below isn’t an exhaustive list, and businesses in certain sectors will have specific things they must do before reopening, the below gives a good starter for many Eden businesses to start thinking about reopening."

  1. COVID Risk assessment - Review your COVID risk assessment and ensure staff are aware and trained in the changes. An example template can be found on the HSE website at https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/working-safely/risk-assessment.htm

  2. Workplace Pack - Public Health England has also put together a 'Workplace Pack' in order to help manage COVID in a workplace setting. You can find this pack at https://cumbria.gov.uk/elibrary/Content/Internet/536/6181/4423517616.pdf

  3. Cleaning – Businesses that have been closed down for a while may need to carry out a deep clean of their premises before reopening. All businesses need to carry out regular, enhanced cleaning i.e. disinfecting all regular contact points, surfaces, products, handles etc. throughout trading periods.

  4. Insurance - check that any insurance pertaining to your premises has been re-activated or renewed. Businesses can check this directly with their provider.

  5. Legionella - Businesses which have been closed and not in use must ensure they include the safety of their water systems in their reopening check lists. Legionnaires Disease is found in hot and cold water systems. As a business owner you have a duty to ensure the risk is managed correctly. For more advice on this topic, visit https://www.cieh.org/media/4208/legionella-guidance-covid-19.pdf

  6. Statutory duties – Businesses must ensure that all statutory certificates and legal checks are within date, such as gas, water and electricity safety checks, and date checks on any food items.

  7. Waste disposal - Ensure you have renewed or reactivated your waste disposal contract. You can find out more about Eden District Council’s trade waste services at https://www.eden.gov.uk/trade-waste-and-recycling. Remember, businesses cannot use the recycling bring sites at various places around the district, as these are for resident’s use.

  8. Alcohol Licence - If you are considering selling alcohol in an outdoor area or selling hot food/drinks after 11pm, check your premises licence for the licensed area marked on the plan. Your outdoor area will require a licence for this activity. For more information visit: https://www.eden.gov.uk/licensing-act-2003

  9. Street trading consent- If you wish to utilise the pavement outside your premises (and it is a designated highway, not private land) for tables, seating or other furniture, you may require a Street Trading consent. You can find more information about this process at https://www.eden.gov.uk/street-trading-consent. If you already hold a licence from Cumbria County Council, it will not be necessary for you to apply to Eden District Council.

  10. Control customer flow - As part of the COVID risk assessment, think about how you will control the flow of customers. For example, people coming in and out, the use of toilets, where and how you will ensure people queue outside to adhere to social distancing rules and how your customers will pay. There are useful guidelines from HSE at https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/index.htm but each individual premises will need to ensure it is set up in the best possible way for its own specific situation. For example, one-way customer flows, one entrance and one exit door, and displaying and managing the safe number of customers at any one time in the premises.

If you have any business-specific questions and cannot find the answer on the eden.gov.uk or GOV.UK, please email env.health@eden.gov.uk for more information and support.