Covid-19: Business Restart and Working Safely

Working Safely

Businesses have a responsibility to make sure they have taken all relevant actions and followed all relevant guidance to make their business Covid-19 secure for both employees and customers.

Local COVID alert level: high- find out what this means for your business here

Key Information

  • The latest Test and Trace workplace guidance can be found here.
  • Guidance on maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace
  • If there is more than one case of COVID-19 in a workplace, employers should contact their local health protection team to report the suspected outbreak. Find your local health protection team. (See below)
  • Follow government guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic. The government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible. These guides cover a range of different types of work.
  • For guidance about travelling to and from work click here.
  • Businesses and organisations will face stricter rules to make their premises COVID Secure (from 28 September):
  • A wider range of leisure and entertainment venues, services provided in community centres, and close contact services will be subject to the COVID-19 Secure requirements in law and fines of up to £10,000 for repeated breaches.
  • Employers must not knowingly require or encourage someone who is being required to self-isolate to come to work.
  • Businesses must remind people to wear face coverings where mandated. (See below)
  • To help contain the virus, office workers who can work effectively from home should do so over the winter. Where an employer, in consultation with their employee, judges an employee can carry out their normal duties from home they should do so. Public sector employees working in essential services, including education settings, should continue to go into work where necessary. Anyone else who cannot work from home should go to their place of work.
  • Social gatherings of more than six people are prohibited businesses are required to let customers know that by law they can only visit in groups of up to 6 people (unless they are visiting as a household or support bubble which is larger than 6).
  • Certain businesses must have a unique QR code and poster displayed as part of NHS Covid-19 app launching. (See below)

NHS COVID-19 app

Businesses across England and Wales like pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas are being urged to ensure they have NHS QR code posters visible on entry so customers who have downloaded the new NHS COVID-19 app can use their smartphones to easily check-in.

Following the launch of the new COVID-19 app, customers and visitors in England will be able to check-in on entry with their phone instead of filling out a check-in book or tool specific to a business. This will allow NHS Test and Trace to contact customers with public health advice should there be a COVID-19 outbreak.

  • In England, using QR codes will help businesses meet the new legal requirement to record the contact details of customers, visitors and staff on their premises.
  • Create and download your QR code poster here 
  • Find out more about the NHS Covid-19 app here.

Every organisation or sole trader who processes personal information, including for the purposes of contact tracing for COVID-19, must be registered with the ICO and pay a data protection fee unless they are exempt. If you are unsure whether you need to register, please contact the ICO via their helpline on 0303 123 1113, or visit the ICO website.

The cost of the data protection fee depends on the size and turnover of the business, but for most businesses it will cost £40 or £60. The registration form will take around 15 minutes to complete.

Local Covid Alert Level: High

On the 12th October, all three Cheshire and Warrington local authorities, Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester and Warrington were placed at a high local covid alert level.

This is for areas with a higher level of infections where some additional restrictions are in place.

This means on top of restrictions in alert level medium:

  • you must not socialise with anybody outside of your household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
  • you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 outside, including in a garden or other spaces like beaches or parks (other than where specific exemptions apply in law)
  • businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law
  • certain businesses are required to ensure customers only consume food and drink while seated, and must close between 10pm and 5am
  • businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through
  • schools, universities and places of worship remain open
  • weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees
  • exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors. These will only be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with or share a support bubble with, or for youth or disability sport
  • you can continue to travel to venues or amenities that are open, for work or to access education, but should look to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible

You must:

You should continue to:

  • follow social distancing rules
  • work from home where you can effectively do so
  • walk or cycle where possible, or plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport

Find out more here

Face Coverings

Full guidance about when to wear a face covering is available here

In addition further situations that require face coverings announced include:

  • Customers in private hire vehicles and taxis must wear face coverings (from 23 September).
  • Customers in hospitality venues must wear face coverings, except when seated at a table to eat or drink. Staff in hospitality and retail will now also be required to wear face coverings (from 24 September).
  • People who are already exempt from the existing face covering obligations, such as because of an underlying health condition, will continue to be exempt from these new obligations.
  • Guidance stating that face coverings and visors should be worn in close contact services will now become law (from 24 September).
  • Staff working on public transport and taxi drivers will continue to be advised to wear face coverings.

Hospitality and Leisure Businesses

  • Businesses will need to display the official NHS QR code posters so that customers can ‘check-in’ at different premises using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details once the app is rolled out nationally (from 24 September).
  • Businesses selling food or drink (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants), social clubs, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement arcades (and other indoor leisure centres or facilities), funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls, must be closed between 10pm and 5am. This will include takeaways but delivery services can continue after 10pm (from 24 September).
  • In licensed premises, food and drink must be ordered from, and served at, a table.
  • Customers must eat and drink at a table in any premises selling food and drink to consume indoors, on site (from 24 September).
  • Indoor organised sport for over 18s will no longer be exempt from the rule of six. There is an exemption for indoor organised team sports for disabled people (from 24 September).
  • Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies and receptions will be restricted to a maximum of 15 people (down from 30). Other significant standalone life events will be subject to the ‘rule of six’ limits, except funerals (from 28 September).
  • The spread of the virus is also affecting our ability to reopen business conferences, exhibition halls and large sporting events, so we will not be able to do this from 1 October.
  • Like all businesses, hospitality and leisure businesses are required to let customers know that by law they can only visit in groups of up to 6 people (unless they are visiting as a household or support bubble which is larger than 6) as  new laws prohibiting social gatherings of more than six people come into effect on Monday 14 September.  It means that – apart from a set of limited exemptions including work and education – any social gatherings of more than six people will be against the law. Find out more here

Health and Safety and Reporting An Outbreak Guidance (including Sector Specific Guidance)

 Care Homes and Domiciliary Care

  • Government information and guidance about working safely in care homes
  • Government information and guidance about working safely in domiciliary care
  • COVID-19: infection prevention and control (IPC) in care settings

Working in Construction and Outdoor Work

Working in Factories,Plants and Warehouses 

Working in Other People’s Homes

Hotel and Guest Accommodation

 Close Contact Services 

  • Find the new close contact services  (hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, tattooists, sports and massage therapists, dress fitters, tailors and fashion designers) guidance here.
  • The guidance can be downloaded here
  • Reporting an outbreak in the close services sector

Gyms and Grassroots Sports Organisations

Labs and Research Facilities

Offices and Contact Centres

Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services

Shops and Branches

Vehicles

  • Government information and guidance about working safely in vehicles

Visitor Economy

Education and childcare settings

The government have worked closely with the sector, and will continue to do so over the coming weeks to support the wider opening of schools, colleges and childcare settings.

Other Outbreak Reporting

Opening Safely Suppliers

The Growth Hub appreciates that changes will be needed in your business to trade safely and successfully. We have compiled a  list of suppliers who might be able to help you make your business Covid-19 secure and support you with the financial and HR elements of this, this list is not exhaustive and we encourage you to conduct your own research before engaging with the companies listed here.