On Monday 16th August the guidance changed for people who work in or run shops, branches, stores or similar environments and for people who provide close contact services.
So what does this mean? The government have listed 1 to 6 priority actions now that the rules have changed. Please read carefully and ensure that your risk assessments are up to date. You can find risk assessments in the BFA members area where parts have been left blank for you to complete.
Applies to: England. See below details for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
1. Complete a health and safety risk assessment that includes the risk from COVID-19
Complete a risk assessment, considering the measures set out in this guidance. Also consider reasonable adjustments needed for staff and customers with disabilities. Share it with all your staff. Keep it updated.
2. Provide adequate ventilation
You should make sure there is a supply of fresh air to indoor spaces where there are people present. This can be natural ventilation through opening windows, doors and vents, mechanical ventilation using fans and ducts, or a combination of both. You should identify any poorly ventilated spaces in your premises and take steps to improve fresh air flow in these areas. In some places, a CO2 monitor can help identify if the space is poorly ventilated. Read the advice on air conditioning and ventilation on the HSE website.
3. Clean more often
It’s especially important to clean surfaces that people touch a lot. You should ask your staff and your customers to use hand sanitiser and to clean their hands frequently.
4. Turn away people with COVID-19 symptoms
Staff members or customers should self-isolate if they have a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste. They must also self-isolate if they:
- have tested positive for COVID-19 (get a PCR test)
- live in a household with someone who has symptoms, unless they’re exempt from self-isolation
- have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
If you know that a worker is legally required to self-isolate, you must not allow them to come to work. It’s an offence to do this. Find out more about who should self-isolate.
5. Enable people to check in at your venue
You’re no longer legally required to collect customer contact details, but doing so will support NHS Test and Trace to contact those who may have been exposed to COVID-19 so that they can book a test. You can enable people to check in to your venue by displaying an NHS QR code poster. You do not have to ask people to check in or turn people away if they refuse. If you choose to display a QR code, you should also have a system in place to record contact details for people who want to check in but do not have the app.
6. Communicate and train
Keep all your workers, contractors and visitors up-to-date on how you’re using and updating safety measures.
Wales – last updated 5th August 2021
- Businesses, employers and other organisations, including activity and event organisers, must undertake a coronavirus risk assessment of their premises and activities and take reasonable measures to minimise exposure to, and the spread of, coronavirus based on that risk assessment.
- Everyone must still self-isolate for 10 days if they test positive for COVID-19. If you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive and you are not fully vaccinated you must also self-isolate for 10 days as instructed by the Test Trace Protect system.
- Adults and children over 12 must wear face-coverings in indoor public places, with the exception of hospitality settings such as restaurants, pubs, cafes or nightclubs.
Scotland – last updated 28th July
This is provided as guidance only and does not amount to legal advice. Click here for the document. Employers may wish to seek their own advice to ensure compliance with all legal duties.
As each workplace is different it is for individual businesses to work with trade unions or workforce representatives selected by employees to determine how best to apply this guidance in their circumstances.
To help you decide which actions to take, you need to carry out an appropriate COVID-19 risk assessment, just as you would for other health and safety related hazards. The checklist included with this guidance should provide you with a good starting place. Risk assessments should be undertaken in consultation with trade unions, employee representatives or employees. The key areas which you need to consider are outlined in each of the sections. This guidance will assist businesses already operating, in identifying, reviewing and maintaining the changes they will need to make to prevent the spread of COVID-19 across their operations.
As a retailer you should consider whether you could operate using online and mail-order services and click and collect safely and in line with this guidance. There is also value in working together in smaller towns through business associations and chambers of commerce to manage safe re-opening and trading co-operatively. As we progress through fully unlocking the economy there will be complex issues to navigate and we ask that retailers use this guidance to inform their decision making in terms of when the right time to reopen is and the measures that need to be implemented to ensure it is done safely.
The Department for the Economy has published guidance on making workplaces safer and a list of priority sectors during the current coronavirus crisis.
Workplace safety guide
The Working Through This Together guide sets out principles and practical steps for employers and employeesto keep themselves and their workplaces safe. It also highlights the steps to be followed if employers and employees are concerned about safety.
With the NI Executive signalling its intention to make some changes to the Coronavirus Regulations in the weeks ahead, the safety guidance has been updated to take account of additional measures/advice contained in the safety guides alongside the latest public health guidance
Image by Manuel Darío Fuentes Hernández