Requirements on Businesses within the Hospitality Sector during the Emergency Period
Recent inspections of businesses within the hospitality sector has shown that some are unaware of two important matters which are legal requirements under the current Coronavirus Regulations. We wanted to provide some more clarity and detail around these to help you manage your COVID-secure environments.
1. Risk Assessment
As a business operator you have a responsibility to ensure you have carried out an effective risk assessment in relation to COVID-19 and put in place appropriate measures to protect your staff, customers and service users, your risk assessment should be shared with all staff. Should your business have more than five employees your assessment must be in written form.
There are comprehensive government guidelines in place which outline measures required to be put in place for businesses. These can be downloaded here:
2. Face Coverings
It is a legal requirement for both staff and customers to wear of face coverings unless they have a specific exemption in line with the current regulations.
It is also a legal requirement for businesses to prominently display a sign or effectively inform customers to wear a face covering on the premises (except when customers are seated and consuming food or drink).
Face coverings must adequately cover your nose and mouth. Please note that visors may be worn in addition to a face covering but not instead of one.
A face covering should:
· Cover your nose and mouth while allowing you to breathe comfortably
· Fit comfortably but securely against the side of the face
· Be made of a material that you find to be comfortable and breathable, such as cotton and ideally include at least two layers of fabric (the World Health Organisation recommends three depending on the fabric used).
More information regarding the requirements for face coverings can be found here:
COVID-19 key information
Q & A session relating to COVID-19 - Friday 23rd October 10am - Please attend
In order to support and consult with the hospitality sector Krishna Ramkhelawon, Director of Public Health and Cllr Trevor Harp, cabinet member for health and adult social care, will be hosting a virtual conversation specifically with hospitality businesses to discuss the borough’s response to COVID-19. This will take place on Friday 23rd October 2020, based on feedback we have changed the time to 10am so it is more accessible to the hospitality sector. We would be grateful if you could attend. Click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
Council Statement regarding tier levels issued on 19.10.2020
Cllr Trevor Harp, cabinet member for adult social care and health, says: “We understand this is a complex time for local businesses and residents, and that is why we said last week that a pragmatic and sensible approach has to be taken regarding the new national COVID alert system whilst the areas of Essex CC and Southend are on different levels.
“Whilst local businesses should endeavour to ensure that restrictions around the new national COVID alert system are adhered to, we have been clear that we will not be trying to catch businesses out and want to support them through this period. There is also responsibility on individuals to adhere to the regulations, so for those that live in the Essex CC area, they should not be mixing indoors with anyone outside their household or bubble if they are visiting Southend-on-Sea.
“We know that businesses have lots of measures to be implementing, and in terms of priority we want them to be focussed on ensuring they are COVID-secure, they have an appropriate risk assessment in place and are supporting the national test and trace system, as the majority are already doing. We know that the difference in tier levels adds a layer of complexity and that is why we are taking a pragmatic approach and want them to focus on the key measures that apply nationally.
“As a council we are doing our best to ensure that our residents and businesses are aware of the regulations and it is only through working collectively that we will be able to manage the situation and contain the spread of the virus.”
Keep up to date on the local COVID alert level and other related Coronavirus information at www.southend.gov.uk/covidalert