COVID secure business advice
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 12 April
From 12 April, “step 2” of the government's road map out of lockdown will come into force. This means the following businesses can reopen:
- 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.
- 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 for use individually or within household groups
- personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning, tattoos and nail salons, and these services should not be provided in other people’s homes
- outdoor hospitality, table service only will resume for groups of up to six from different households, or for groups of two households, subject to social distancing. Indoor hospitality venues who cannot utilise suitable outdoor space must remain closed with the exception of those providing food and drink for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services
- Outdoor attractions such as zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas
- Libraries and community centres
- All children’s activities, indoor parent & child groups (up to 15 parents)
- Domestic overnight stays such as hotels, guest houses and campsites (household only)
- Self-contained accommodation (household only)
- Funerals (30), wakes, weddings and receptions (15)
It is important to note that the Government has stated that any easing of restrictions will be data driven, not date driven. Therefore, businesses will only be permitted to re-open on 17 May if the data shows that it is safe to do so.
Businesses that must remain closed
From 12 April, the following businesses must remain closed:
- indoor 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, and other animal attractions, water parks
- indoor attractions at venues, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.