Coronavirus: Advice for businesses - Working safely

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (North East of England) Regulations 2020 SI 2020 No.1010. came into force on the 18 September 2020.

The Regulations impose restricted opening hours on businesses selling goods or providing services in certain areas in North East England. These businesses may not operate between 22:00 hours and 05:00 hours, unless they are offering food and drink for consumption off the premises, provided by delivery. The Regulations further provide that the businesses subject to the restrictions on opening may offer food and drink for consumption on the premises only if it is served to customers sitting at a table. The Regulations also impose further restrictions on gatherings in those areas. The closures and restrictions last until they are terminated by a direction given by the Secretary of State or the Regulations expire under Regulation 12.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Obligations of Hospitality Undertakings) (England) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020 No 1008)

These Regulations require certain undertakings in the hospitality industry, to take measures to ensure that their customers follow the rules on social distancing.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Collection of Contact Details etc and Related Requirements) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020 No.1005)

These regulations impose a number of obligations on relevant persons, in order to protect against the risks arising from coronavirus. The main obligations are as follows.

Regulation 5 provides who the regulations apply to, in particular to a relevant person (as defined in regulation 4) who occupies relevant premises (also as defined in regulation 4). The regulation makes clear that where relevant premises are hired or used by more than one relevant person on a temporary basis, any obligations under the regulations will apply to that person for the time during which they hire or use the premises.

Regulation 6 provides that relevant persons must display and make available a QR code at relevant premises they occupy or operate to enable certain individuals who seek to enter the premises (in the circumstances in regulation 9) to scan that QR code.

Regulation 7 provides the requirement to request certain details (as set out in regulation 10), where an individual seeks to enter relevant premises (in a case set out in regulation 9), unless that individual is under 16 or has a mental or physical disability that means they are unable to provide the details.

Important NHS Advice

The NHS have advised that on the 24 September 2020 a new app for mass use will be released. 

The app will be a critical enhancement of NHS Test and Trace in England, and the Test, Trace and Protect service in Wales. It will allow the NHS to know quicker if we’re at risk of the virus, so we can take action, fast, to protect our communities and the ones we love. The app will provide users with local risk information, alert them if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive and very importantly has a built-in QR scanner to check-in at venues.

So we need businesses and venues across England and Wales who will require QR code posters to use the time between now and that launch date to get prepared. To see the Guidance (pdf 1.5 Mb) and Poster Guidance (pdf 1.5 Mb).

Important Letter from Public Health & Regulatory Services

To access a very important letter about Covid 19 in Newcastle from the Director of Public Health and the Director of Operations and Regulatory Services go to Letter (word 55 kb) 

Legislation 

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020 No. 684) required the closure of certain businesses as listed, to protect against the risks to public health from coronavirus. To see the related Government advice go to Gov.UK.

Re-Opening Certain Businesses and Venues on the 4, 10, 11, 13, 25 July & 15 August 2020

Pubs, Restaurants, Hairdressers, Places of Worship, Cinemas, Community Centres, Museums and outdoor amusements can now be open, so long as they take measures to prevent the spread of infection.

On the 10 July the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020 No. 719) amended the principal Regulations. These Regulations now permit the following to open: outdoor swimming pools and water parks (from 11th July 2020); nail bars and salons, tanning booths and salons, spas and beauty salons, massage parlours, tattoo parlours, and body and skin piercing services (from 13th July 2020). To see the related Government Guidance go to Gov.uk(External link) 

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No.3) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020 No.750) came into force on 18 July and enable local authorities to give Directions relating to individual premises, Directions relating to events and Directions relating to public outdoor places

The powers to make a direction may only be exercised where conditions specified in the Regulations are met.

These conditions are that that giving such a direction responds to a serious and imminent threat to public health, that the direction is necessary for the purpose of preventing, protecting against, controlling or providing a public health response to the incidence or spread of infection by coronavirus in the local authority’s area, and that the prohibitions, requirements or restrictions imposed by the direction are a proportionate means of achieving that purpose.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) (England) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020 No.788) came into force on the 25 July 2020. The following businesses are permitted to be open: indoor fitness and dance studios, indoor gyms, indoor sports courts and facilities, and indoor swimming pools, including indoor facilities at water parks.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) (England) (Amendment) (No.3) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020 No.863) came into force on the 15 August 2020. The following businesses are permitted to be open: casinos, indoor skating rinks, indoor play areas, bowling alleys and conference centres and exhibition halls.

Nightclubs, dance halls, discotheques, sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars must remain closed. 

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place) (England) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020 No. 791). The Regulations require members of the public to wear face coverings whilst inside a relevant place specified in the Regulations, except in certain limited cases, from Friday 24 July. 

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) (England) (Amendment) (No.4) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020 No. 986). The Regulations now require that people may not participate in social gatherings, in any place, in groups of more than 6, unless they are members of the same household, two linked households, or exceptions apply.

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, it is more important than ever for businesses to operate safely.

As well as the usual steps to ensure this happens – details of which can be found on our Health and Safety at work page – the Government and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have produced specific guidance to protect employees and the public.

As the pandemic is an ever-changing situation, this information will likely be updated, so please check back regularly for the latest advice.

On this page

Further information and advice for businesses on issues such as fire, food, gas and water system safety can also be found on our business reopening page.

Government safety advice

The Government has, in consultation with industry, produced guidance to help businesses and staff understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

To read this visit www.gov.uk/workingsafely.

This advice includes help to carry out risk assessments, information on how to talk to staff about keeping both themselves and others safe, and details of measures you may need to consider, such as social distancing, staggered shifts, and additional handwashing facilities.

This link also includes practical actions for businesses to take and guidance for specific industries, including:

Specific advice for the licensed trade is also available and can be accessed at:

 

Health and Safety Executive advice

The HSE has produced a short guide which outlines the steps you should take to help manage the risks of coronavirus for your business. It can be downloaded from the HSE website.

The steps include:

  • identifying what work activity or situations might cause transmission of the virus
  • thinking about who could be at risk
  • deciding how likely it is that someone could be exposed
  • acting to remove the activity or situation, or if this isn’t possible, controlling the risk.

As part of this you are required to consult and involve your employees in the steps you are taking to manage the risk of coronavirus in your workplace.

Further HSE guidance on talking with your workers is also available to download from their website.

After you have done this you should display a notice to let staff know that you are “COVID secure.”

Showing you are ‘COVID secure’

A notice to show you have followed this guidance, and that you are “COVID secure”, can be downloaded from the Government website to display in your workplace.

Report safety concerns

If you have concerns about how a business is controlling the risk posed by Covid-19 please, in confidence, contact our Public Safety and Regulation team by emailing psr@newcastle.gov.uk.

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