Covid: Business Support

19th July Reopening Regulations

We are moving to Step 4 of the Government’s roadmap on Monday 19th July. 

This means that:

  • All remaining closed businesses and venues such as nightclubs and adult entertainment venues will be able to reopen.
  • All capacity limits at sporting, entertainment, or business events will be lifted.
  • Hospitality venues such as pubs, restaurants and bars will no longer be required to provide table service or follow other social distancing rules.
  • The requirement to wear face coverings in law will be lifted. However, the Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport and face coverings will still be required on the Metrolink across Greater Manchester.
  • Businesses are also encouraged to continue displaying QR codes for customers wishing to check in using the NHS COVID-19 app, or to continue collecting customer contact details to support NHS Test and Trace, however this will no longer be a legal requirement.

Whilst some coronavirus legislation will cease to have effect from Monday, Health and Safety legislation is still in force, as is Public Health legislation.

As a business you will need to carry out a risk assessment re: COVID-19 and to have COVID-19 controls in place.

It is a legal requirement to have health and safety risk assessments and to have safe systems of work in place.

gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19

Sector Government Guidance

Step 4 overview
Find out what will change and what you should do to protect yourself and others.

Construction and other outdoor work
Guidance for people who work in or run outdoor working environments.

Events and attractions
Guidance for people who work in settings related to events and visitor attractions.

Hotels and guest accommodation
Guidance for people who work in or run hotels or other guest accommodation

Offices, factories and labs
Guidance for people who work in or run offices, factories, plants, warehouses, labs and research facilities and similar indoor environments.

Restaurants, pubs, bars, nightclubs and takeaway services
Guidance for people who work in or run restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes, nightclubs or takeaways.

Shops, branches, and close contact services
Guidance for people who work in or run shops, branches, stores or similar environments and for people who provide close contact services, including hairdressers and beauticians.

Guidance for Licensed Premises via Manchester City Council

Guidance specifically for restaurants/bars/pubs/nightclubs/takeaway services is at:

gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19/restaurants-pubs-bars-nightclubs-and-takeaway-services

This guidance outlines 6 key steps for you to take:

  • Complete a health and safety risk assessment that includes the risk from COVID-19.
  • Provide adequate ventilation.
  • Clean more often.
  • Turn people away with COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Enable people to check in at your venue to help support National Test and Trace.
  • Communicate and train.

The guidance outlines many different COVID controls. Your risk assessment must consider the guidance as well as also consider local issues e.g., infection rates / vulnerabilities of your staff/customers/visitors etc.

We are at a crucial stage in the pandemic and locally our infection rates are high: Cases, deaths and test data | What we know about current levels of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Manchester | Manchester City Council

Please also see: gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do#if-youre-in-an-area-where-the-new-covid-19-variant-known-as-delta-is-spreading

It is important that COVID-19 risk assessments are regularly reviewed and updated as the pandemic progresses and there are significant changes.

They must also be communicated to all staff and relevant parts to anyone who needs to know.

Some Key Considerations

  • Businesses should exercise caution in the relaxation of current COVID controls considering current infection rates, vulnerabilities of their staff/customers/visitors.
  • Health and Safety risk assessments re: COVID should be revisited and reviewed. Government guidance should be considered in the determination of risk assessments: gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19
  • Key controls within risk assessments may be for example, social distancing, screens, adequate ventilation, frequent cleaning, and good hand hygiene.
  • Businesses that are re-opening should also consider other risks (apart from COVID-19) e.g. Water system management and Legionella – the total or partial closure of businesses raises the need for effective controls to maintain the safety of water systems
  • Consider the checklist put together by the Food Standards Agency to support food businesses re-opening safely during COVID-19 after a period of inaction  food.gov.uk/business-guidance/reopening-checklist-for-food-businesses-during-covid-19
  • Inspect your premises to check for any evidence of pests.
  • Any equipment/plant that has not been used for a long time may need servicing.
  • Ensure any lifts are up to date with maintenance/service/thorough examinations
  • The definition of a contact is still the same. Positive cases and contacts of positive cases will still be legally required to self-isolate, to help break chains of transmission. There will be an isolation exemption for contacts of positive cases for under 18s and for double vaccinated adults from 16 August. If social distancing is relaxed, you may find more staff having to self-isolate which could result in your business having to temporarily close due to lack of staff.
  • While the government is no longer instructing people to work from home, a return to the workplace should be gradual and businesses should follow the published guidance. See: gov.uk/coronavirus. If staff are to come back into the workplace – consider vulnerabilities (are individual staff risk assessments needed considering their health/place of work/job role/ journey to/from work/ vaccination status etc.)
  • Nightclubs and other venues with large crowds are encouraged to make use of the NHS Covid Pass – which shows proof of vaccination, a recent negative test or natural immunity – as a means of entry. – nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/covid-pass/
  • All staff should be encouraged to get double vaccinated. Protection from vaccination increases significantly from first to second dose and double-vaccinated staff will not have to self-isolate as contacts from the 16th of August, which will help to minimise disruption to your business.
  • All staff should be encouraged to take regular Lateral Flow Tests if asymptomatic (no symptoms). Twice a week is recommended.
  • Staff with the 3 main symptoms of COVID-19 (high temperature/new continuous cough/change in taste/smell) must stay at home and book a free PCR test as soon as possible. Staff can register online at nhs.uk/coronavirus
  • Sometimes, people with COVID-19 do not have the three main symptoms listed above. Instead, they may have any of the following symptoms: diarrhoea/sore throat/muscle or full body aches/tired and unwell/headache that lasts a long time/blocked or runny nose/sickness or vomiting. If staff don’t have the three main symptoms, but feel ill with other symptoms on the list, they should also book a free PCR test. They don’t have to stay at home while they wait for the results. They will only have to do that if they get a positive result for COVID-19. Staff can register online at nhs.uk/coronavirus
  • If you have 2 or more cases of COVID-19 within your staff over a 14-day period, please contact Manchester City Council at eh.testandtrace@manchester.gov.uk.
  • If you have any queries re. COVID-19 cases/ controls etc., please contact eh.testandtrace@manchester.gov.uk

Useful Links

NHS: Covid Tests

If you have no symptoms, take a Lateral Flow Test at home.

If you have coronavirus symptoms:

Financial Support Grants

Grants and other financial support is available for businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19:

CityCo & BID Membership Support

CityCo and Manchester Business Improvement District are here to support our business members and levy payers.

We are in daily liaison with city partners Manchester City Council, Greater Manchester Police, Transport for Greater Manchester and Marketing Manchester.

As per last year, we will continue to share city information and are on the end of the phone for any operational or security concerns.

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