Warrington is currently subject to national coronavirus restrictions, which places restrictions on businesses.

More information about what this means for businesses can be viewed on the government's website.

Businesses that can open from 17 May

From 17 May, 'step 3' of the government's road map out of lockdown came into force. This means the following businesses can reopen:

  • Indoor entertainment and attractions such as cinemas, theatres, concert halls, bowling alleys, casinos, amusement arcades, museums and children’s indoor play areas will be permitted to open with COVID-secure measures in place.
  • Indoor and outdoor events, including live performances, sporting events and business events. Attendance at these events will be capped according to venue type, and attendees should follow the COVID-secure measures set out by those venues.
  • Indoor hospitality venues such as restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes can reopen.
  • Organised indoor sport will be able to take place for all (this includes gym classes). This must be organised by a business, charity or public body and the organiser must take reasonable measures to reduce the risk of transmission.
  • All holiday accommodation will be open (including hotels and B&Bs). This can be used by groups of up to six people or two households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible).

It is important to note that the government has stated that any easing of restrictions will be data driven, not date driven.

The government has announced a four week pause at 'step 3', which means restrictions remain in place. It is now expected that England will move to 'step 4' on 19 July, though the data will be reviewed in advance.


Businesses that must remain closed

To reduce social contact, some businesses, such as nightclubs, must remain closed or follow restrictions on how they provide goods and services.

The full list of restrictions for businesses during the national lockdown can be found on the gov.uk website


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. 

Businesses and venues that are able to open should follow COVID-secure guidance to protect customers, visitors and workers by:

  • Ensuring both workers and customers who feel unwell stay at home and do not attend the venue. By law businesses may not require a self-isolating employee to come into work.
  • Reminding customers and staff to wear face coverings where they are required, for example, through use of signage.
  • Increasing the frequency of handwashing and surface cleaning in every workplace.
  • Following the rules on social distancing
  • Ensuring there is an adequate supply of fresh air (ventilation) in enclosed areas of the workplace. For more information on ventilation including ways that you can maximise the fresh air in a space, visit Health and Safety Executive.
Guidance for hotels and other guest accommodation

Strict COVID guidelines should be followed, including (but not limited to):

  • It is important to complete a risk assessment and have a business continuity plan in place
  • Advise staff and customers that they should not enter if they are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms (see below for details)
  • Increase the frequency of cleaning for high risk areas such as common touch points-door handles, toilets etc.
  • For the purposes of contact tracing it is important that you are aware of who has been in the building and have their details should NHS Test and Trace require them in the event of someone testing positive for coronavirus - You can take down people’s details manually or print off a QR code online – Create a coronavirus NHS QR code for your venue - GOV.UK (gov.uk) to display on the premises. Every person aged 16 and over must either scan the QR code or provide their contact details, not just one person if they come in a group. A record of those in attendance needs to be kept for 21 days
  • Use signage and floor markings to illustrate implementation of one way systems and social distancing
  • Ensure the rooms are cleaned thoroughly in between users
  • Stagger the arrival and departure times of visitors
  • Have a separate entrance and exit if possible
  • Encourage contactless payments
  • Clean keys between guests
  • Ensure hand sanitiser is readily available
  • Provide adequate ventilation in enclosed spaces, see HSE.GOV.UK for more information
  • Communicate clearly with customers about measures in place to ensure compliance
  • Minimise the sharing of resources such as magazines in reception and self-service
  • Any shared communal facilities should only be used if it is possible to social distance and they must be cleaned in between each use
  • Take steps to avoid crowded reception areas, including staggering arrival and departure times, placing markers on the floor and having a safe queuing system in place
Guidance for outdoor facilities

Strict COVID guidelines should be followed, including (but not limited to): 

  • Following an assessment, estimate how many people can safely be involved in the activity while still being COVID-secure
  • Implement a booking system so that people aren’t all arriving and leaving at the same time if possible
  • If equipment is hired leave time for cleaning in between sessions
  • Encourage people to only use their own equipment where possible
  • Put up signage to remind people of the importance of COVID-secure practices
  • Encourage people not to car share unless it is with members of the same household or bubble
  • If payment is taken in person use contactless methods if possible -
  • Provide regular communication to attendees/customers Toilets can be open – to maintain safety, you should create one way systems for entering/exiting and only allow a certain number of people in at a time
Guidance Indoor hospitality

Strict guidelines should be followed, including (but not limited to):

  • Complete a risk assessment and have a business continuity plan in place - Advise staff and customers that they should not enter if they are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms (see below for details)
  • Food and drink will need to be ordered while seated
  • Food and drink to be consumed while seated
  • Face coverings must be worn when getting up from seats such as going to the toilet (unless exempt)
  • Introduce a one way system
  • Where possible ask people to book in advance 
  • Increase the frequency of cleaning for high risk areas such as common touch points-door handles, toilets etc.
  • Ensure adequate ventilation in enclosed spaces – please see HSE.GOV.UK for further information
  • For the purposes of contact tracing it is important that you are aware of who has been in the building and have their details should NHS Test and Trace require them in the event of someone testing positive for coronavirus - You can take down people’s details manually or print off a QR code online
  • Create a coronavirus NHS QR code for your venue - GOV.UK (gov.uk) to display on the premises. Every person who comes in aged 16 and over must either scan the QR code or provide their contact details, not just one person if they come in a group. A record of those in attendance needs to be kept for 21 days
  • Use signage and floor markings to illustrate implementation of one way systems and social distancing 
  • Have a queuing system in place
  • Have a separate entrance and exit if possible
  • Encourage the use of hand sanitiser throughout the venue
Guidance for indoor entertainment

Strict COVID guidelines should be followed, including (but not limited to):

  • It is important to complete a risk assessment and have a business continuity plan in place
  • Put up signage to remind people of good COVID practice, including good hand hygiene, wearing of face coverings and maintaining two metres social distancing
  • If an activity is high risk and would involve compromising safety measures, consider whether it could be delivered in a different way or whether it is needed at the current time
  •  
  • Use signage and floor markings to illustrate implementation of one way systems and social distancing
  • Ensure the rooms are cleaned thoroughly in between users/performances
  • Stagger the arrival and departure times of visitors
  • Have a separate entrance and exit if possible
  • Encourage contactless payments
  • Ensure hand sanitiser is available
  • If equipment is hired please ensure it is cleaned in between each user
Guidance for personal care and close contact services

Services that are allowed to open should follow strict COVID-secure guidelines:

  • Following a risk assessment, calculate the number of customers you can safely accommodate while maintaining two metres social distancing (including in communal facilities such as the toilets, kitchen etc.)
  • If someone is feeling unwell they must not attend the workplace/appointment
  • Implement a booking system so that people aren’t all arriving and leaving at the same time, if possible
  • Inform customers in advance of the COVID-secure measures you have in place - Display clear signage
  • Have an appointment only scheme
  • Create a one-way system for moving around the building
  • Try to avoid needing a waiting area, if this is necessary ensure social distancing is maintained
  • Ensure hand sanitiser is readily available and encourage usage both on arrival and departure
  • Assign workstations to individuals – if they need to be shared do this with as few people as possible and clean thoroughly in between each use
  • Use contactless methods of payment where possible - Make sure PPE is disposed of correctly if used and bins are emptied regularly
  • Ensure there is someone who can monitor the measures in place and adherence to them
  • Provide regular communication to attendees/customers
  • Put up screens/barriers to separate customers
  • If you have music on try not to have it too loud so that people are shouting when speaking

Outdoor seating and shelters

If you are considering putting up a smoking shelter or outdoor hut, we advise you to contact us for guidance and advice before you take any action Environmental.Health@warrington.gov.uk

Enclosed and substantially enclosed premises are considered to be an indoor space.

Premises will be considered to be enclosed or substantially enclosed if they have:

  • have a ceiling or roof, and except for doors, windows or passage ways are wholly enclosed, whether on a permanent or temporary basis
  • opening in the walls; or an aggregate area of openings in the walls, which is less than half of the area of the walls
  • In this regulation “roof” includes any fixed or moveable structure or device which is capable of covering all or part of the premises as a roof, including, for example, a canvas awning.


Free Lateral Flow Tests for businesses and employees

Every resident in Warrington is able to access regular symptom-free COVID tests, called lateral flow tests (LFTs). There are a number of options when choosing to get a test, including workplace testing, to ensure you are not unknowingly spreading the virus to others as more restrictions are eased.

Find out more information on testing and how to get lateral flow tests on our symptom-free testing page.

 

Business owners

It is vital that all businesses take action to prevent transmission of the virus. Make sure you understand the steps you need to take to keep everyone yourself and employees safe. 

Business basics

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. 

For more information, view the government's guidance on maintaining records on their website.

It is legally required for certain venues to display NHS QR posters.

Find out more about how to download your QR poster on the NHS website

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.

Read the guidance and download the action cards on the government's website


Employees

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.


Customers

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

Tell us about your COVID safety issue

 


 

Applying for a temporary pavement café licence

Hospitality venues can serve people outdoors only. There will be no need for customers to order a substantial meal with alcohol, and no curfew - although customers must order, eat and drink while seated.

Businesses that do not have their own outdoor space can apply for a temporary pavement café licence to provide outside seating on the public highway to serve food and drinks. The application process is free service to support businesses.

This government legislation has now been extended until September 2022.

The Council will help businesses to identify any suitable areas adjacent to the premises where possible whilst still maintaining public safety and access.


Is your business COVID secure?

Government guidance

You must work through the government’s guidance on working safely to make your workplace COVID-secure.

The guidance looks at five areas:

  1. Risk assessments
  2. Hand washing
  3. Working from home
  4. Social distancing
  5. 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.

Reopening a business that has been closed for a long period of time

If your water system has not been used regularly there is a risk of Legionella. You must make sure it is safe before using it. The Health and Safety Executive website and United Utilities can provide further information.

If you are reopening your food business after a shutdown then use the Food Standards Agency checklist to help you prepare.  

If you have any queries that our Business Compliance Team can assist with them please contact us using: Environmental.Health@warrington.gov.uk

Is your water supply safe from the risk of Legionella?

If your water system has not been used regularly there is a risk of Legionella. You must make sure it is safe before using it. The Health and Safety Executive website and United Utilities can provide further information.

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
  • cleaning
  • 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?

Do you wish to apply for a temporary pavement café licence under our new procedure?

Find out more about the licences and permits you need for certain businesses and activities.

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.

Are you starting a new food business? 

    Whether you are starting a new business at home or using a business premises follow the following Food Standards Agency guidance on making sure you operate safely and legally. Find out more at the Food Standards Agency website

     

    Further information

    If you need more information, please visit the Food Standards Agency website. Alternatively, you can send your enquiry via email to Environmental.Health@Warrington.gov.uk.