COVID secure business advice
Warrington is currently part of a national lockdown, which places strict restrictions on businesses.
More information about what this means for businesses can be viewed on the government's website.
Businesses that must close
- non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms, betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, auction houses, and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can remain open for delivery/ click-and-collect services.
- hospitality venues, with the exception of providing food and drink for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services
- accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites
- leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and indoor gyms, indoor swimming pools, indoor sports courts, indoor fitness and dance studios, golf courses and indoor climbing walls
- entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, indoor play and soft play centres and areas, funfairs, zoos and other animal attractions, water parks and theme parks
- indoor attractions at venues, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open
- personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning, tattoos and nail salons, and these services should not be provided in other people’s homes
- community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities
Businesses that can remain open
Some businesses and venues can stay open for a small number of exempt activities, including:
- education and training – for schools to use sports, leisure and community facilities where this is part of their normal provision
- childcare purposes and supervised activities for children
- hosting blood donation sessions and food banks
- to provide medical treatment
- for elite sports persons to train and compete (in indoor and outdoor sports facilities), and professional dancers and choreographers to work (in fitness and dance studios)
- for training and rehearsal without an audience (in theatres and concert halls)
Some venues can remain open including:
- essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, market stalls, garden centres, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences
- businesses providing repair services may also stay open, where they primarily offer repair services
- petrol stations, automatic (but not manual) car washes, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses
- banks, building societies, post offices, short-term loan providers and money transfer businesses
- funeral directors
- laundrettes and dry cleaners
- medical and dental services
- vets and pet shops, animal rescue centres, boarding facilities, and animal groomers
- mobility and disability support shops
- storage and distribution facilities
- car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas
- places of worship, crematoriums and burial grounds
Follow the COVID-secure guidance
Businesses and venues that are able to remain open should follow COVID-secure guidance to protect customers, visitors and workers.
Our coronavirus community support officers will be working alongside Cheshire Police to ensure that businesses have the support they need to continue to operate safely, in line with the current guidance and restrictions.
If you have coronavirus concerns about your business, it is vital that you take action quickly to prevent transmission of the virus. Make sure you understand the steps you need to take to keep everyone as safe as possible.
Make sure that if you're an indoor venue/setting, you, your staff and customers wear face coverings where necessary. If any of your staff display any coronavirus symptoms, they must self-isolate and book a test immediately.
Premises and venues across England must have a system in place to record contact details of their customers, visitors and staff to support NHS Test and Trace.
It is legally required for certain venues to display NHS QR posters.
Reporting cases of coronavirus in your organisation
Coronavirus early outbreak management information has been created to ensure people who run businesses or organisations:
- know how to recognise and report cases of coronavirus
- are aware of measures that may need to be taken in order to contain it
The government and Public Health England have produced guidance for businesses, and outbreak 'action cards' for specific settings.
How to report coronavirus safety concerns in your workplace
If you're concerned that your employer isn't following the national guidance, and that your workplace doesn't have appropriate COVID-secure safety measures in place, you could speak to the person in charge of the venue, your employer, your union or employee representative.
You can also report it to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Call 0300 790 6787 or highlight it to the HSE online.
How to report coronavirus safety concerns in a business environment
If you're concerned that a local business isn't following the national guidance, and doesn't have appropriate COVID-secure safety measures in place, you can report it to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Call 0300 790 6787 or highlight it to the HSE online.
If you still have concerns, you can report any issues to us
Is your business COVID secure?
You must work through the government’s guidance on working safely to make your workplace COVID-secure.
The guidance looks at five areas:
- Risk assessments
- Hand washing
- Working from home
- Social distancing
- What to do when you can’t social distance
The government website also provides more detailed guidance, and has sector specific information, which is being updated regularly.
This includes guidance for:
- Offices, shops and call centres
- Close contact services such as hairdressers
- Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services
- Factories, plants and warehouses
The Health and Safety Executive also offer advice to businesses by calling 0300 790 6787 lines are open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 8pm, or you can request advice online.
Are you a food business (including Foodbanks and community cooking)?
As well as checking the you are adhering to the guidance on the government's website, the Food Standard Agency has a checklist and guidance to make sure you have considered issues like:
- pest control
- waste collection
- changes to your Food Safety Management System
Visit the Food Standards Agency’s website and work through the re-opening checklist for food businesses.
As well as using the government’s working safely guidance you can find the Food Standards Agency guidance, advice and checklists.
If you are operating a Foodbank there is specific guidance for you on the Food Standards Agency website.
Do you need a particular licence or permissions?
Are you purchasing equipment for your employees?
You my need to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or hand sanitiser, and use appropriately.
Be aware of guidance on product safety and ensure you are purchasing appropriate equipment from a reputable supplier.
Visit the Health and Safety Executive website for more information, or read the government's guidance on product safety for businesses.
Keeping records of visitors, staff, customers, etc.
Air conditioning and ventilation
Consumer protection advice
Food industry guidance
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Protect against scams
Food businesses operating as takeaways
During the ongoing coronavirus situation, many food businesses have moved to a takeaway model, following the social distancing measures implemented by the government. The Food Standards Agency has advised that it's improbable that coronavirus can be transferred from one person to another via food.
If you're a business that wants to begin operating in this way, then you will need to consider a number of things.
Moving to a take-away model
- The requirements for food production haven't changed. It's as important as ever to make sure that you continue to adhere to food hygiene and safety
- You should have suitable facilities to offer takeaways including structure, hand washing facilities, equipment washing and proper toilet provision
- Your staff should be trained, fit and able to work. Also consider the additional risks to these staff; how are you going minimise their risk of exposure to the virus?
- Ensure your staff are practising social distancing, as advised by the government
- You should have a suitably documented Food Safety Management System (such as Safer Food Better Business which you can download for free) for your business. If offering takeaway meals is new to your business, review what you're doing to see if there are any significant changes to be made
- Identify which food options are going to be made available for takeaway and delivery. Not all of your usual menu items will be suitable for takeaway
- Take the chance to review your allergen procedures and establish how this allergen information is going to be communicated? Customers must be advised to 'ask about allergens' at any point where orders can be placed, such as menus and websites. Consider who is going to pass on this information. How will you avoid cross-contamination in transit? How will you ensure the right customer gets the right meal? Further advice for business about allergens is available from the Food Standards Agency website.
- Ensure you have adequate storage facilities for any additional stock you're purchasing
- Think about how you're going to process the food orders and update your foods safety management system. Will you be significantly changing the way you cook and pre-preparing food? If so, how are you hot holding/cooling and refrigerating it? Are you preparing food in advance or continuing to cook to order?
- Think about the practicalities of the food delivery; how far are you going to deliver meals? How will you arrange payment? Are the containers that are to be used food safe? Is further insurance required?
- How are you going to carry out the delivery to ensure temperature control is maintained and to prevent cross-contamination? We advise that use insulated boxes - in particular, separate boxes for cold and hot food items.