Advice, support and information for businesses

DISCLAIMER: While every effort is made to keep this webpage up to date, Covid-19 restrictions can change quickly, do check gov.uk for the latest information.

The latest information on Coronavirus and the UK’s response and management can be found on the government website.

View the Government’s Autumn and Winter Plan: COVID-19 Response: Autumn and Winter Plan 2021

New rules in response to Omicron variant, this guidance applies to England

The government has announced that England will move to Plan B in response to the risks of the Omicron variant. Find out what you must do to help prevent the spread.

Business Grants

On 21 December 2021, the Government announced the introduction of a grant, the ‘Omicron Hospitality & Leisure Grant’, to support businesses that offer in-person services, where the main service and activity takes place in a fixed Business Rated premises, within the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors. 

In addition to this grant Wealden will be introducing a number of Discretionary Grant Schemes over the coming weeks to support other business sectors. Funds for these schemes are limited and at the discretion of the authority. The closing dates may vary and they may close without notice depending on the funds available.

We are now accepting applications for those businesses who are eligible for the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant.  

Please be advised however that we will not be making any payments until we have received the funding from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Please review the guidance to ensure that you are eligible before applying.

Government Guidance  

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1044354/omicron-hospitality-and-leisure-grant-guidance.pdf

Businesses must have a rates liability to be eligible for these schemes.

This scheme will close to application at midnight on 14th February 2022.

Hospitality

For the purposes of this scheme, a hospitality business can be defined as a business whose main function is to provide a venue for the consumption and sale of food and drink.

Types of businesses included in this scheme;

  • Food Courts
  • Public Houses / Pub restaurants
  • Restaurants
  • Roadside Restaurants
  • Wine Bars
  • Cafes

For these purposes, the definition of a hospitality business should exclude: food kiosks and businesses whose main service (generating 50% or more of income) is a takeaway (not applicable to those that have adapted to offer takeaways during periods of restrictions, in alignment with previous COVID-19 business grant schemes).

Please note where a business offers both takeaway and dine-in, we will require evidence of takings to confirm that the main service is dine in. 

 

Leisure

For the purposes of this scheme, a leisure business can be defined as a business that provides opportunities, experiences and facilities, in particular for culture, recreation, entertainment, celebratory events and days and nights at the rated business premises for which they are liable.

Types of businesses included in this scheme;

  • Leisure Casinos and gambling clubs
  • Cinemas
  • Museums and art galleries
  • Stately homes & historic houses
  • Theatres
  • Zoos & safari parks
  • Amusement parks
  • Wedding venues
  • Events venues
  • Night clubs & discotheques
  • Arenas
  • Concert halls
  • Tourist attractions
  • Theme parks
  • Amusement arcades
  • Soft play centres or areas
  • Clubs & institutions
  • Village halls & scout huts, cadet huts, etc.

For these purposes, the definition of a leisure business should exclude: all retail businesses, coach tour operators, and tour operators. Gyms and sports businesses where physical exercise or training is conducted on an individual or group basis.

Accommodation

For the purposes of this scheme, an accommodation business can be defined as a business whose main lodging provision is used for holiday, travel or other purposes.

Types of businesses included in this scheme;

  • Caravan parks
  • Caravan sites and pitches
  • Chalet parks
  • Coaching inns
  • Country house hotels
  • Guest houses
  • Hostels
  • Hotels
  • Lodge
  • Holiday apartments, Cottages or bungalows
  • Campsites
  • Boarding houses
  • Canal boats or other vessels
  • B&Bs
  • Catered holiday homes
  • Holiday homes

For these purposes, the definition of an accommodation business should exclude: private dwellings, education accommodation, residential homes, care homes, residential family centres and beach huts.

Grant Amounts

Rateable Value

One-off Payment Amount

Rateable Value of exactly 15,000 or under

£2,667

Rateable Value of over 15,000 and less than 51,000

£4,000

Rateable Value of exactly 51,000 or over

£6,000

 

You can apply for the grant by visiting https://wealden.grantapproval.co.uk/

We are now accepting applications to top-up the Omicron Hospitality & Leisure Grant.  This is a top-up grant for those businesses eligible for the Omicron Hospitality & Leisure Grant (OHLG). 

As this is a discretionary fund, eligible businesses are required to make a seperate application to the OHLG.  Applications can be made through the same portal https://wealden.grantapproval.co.uk/  

Grant Amounts

Rateable Value

One-off Payment Amount

Rateable Value of exactly 15,000 or under

£4,000

Rateable Value of over 15,000 and less than 51,000

£5,000

Rateable Value of exactly 51,000 or over

£6,000

You can apply for the grant by visiting https://wealden.grantapproval.co.uk/

This scheme will close to applications at midnight on 14th February 2022 (or sooner if the fund is exhausted)

We are now accepting applications to discretionary Personal Care Grant.  This is a grant for those businesses who deliver personal care services, such as Hairdressing or Beauty Therapies who have a rates liability and operate from that business premises. 

Grant Amounts

Rateable Value

One-off Payment Amount

Rateable Value of exactly 15,000 or under

£6,700

Rateable Value of over 15,000 and less than 51,000

£9,000

Rateable Value of exactly 51,000 or over

£12,000

You can apply for the grant by visiting https://wealden.grantapproval.co.uk/

This scheme will close at midnight 31 January 2022 (or sooner if the fund is exhausted)

Since the pandemic began Environmental Health Officers have been patrolling Wealden district to check that businesses are complying with the restrictions and giving advice over the telephone. If you have questions or concerns about the operation of a business please email us at foodhs@rother.gov.uk (a shared service with Rother). 

If a business is found to be trading in contravention of the regulations, they may be subject to an enforcement notice prohibiting specified activities. If this is not complied with fixed penalty notices may be issued. A prosecution may follow.

Further details of the Environmental Health Enforcement Policy

Non-food retailers

For advice or complaints regarding non-food retailers email ESCC Trading Standards on trading.standards@eastsussex.gov.uk

For all other categories email Wealden District Council on foodhs@rother.gov.uk 

There are guides for specific workplaces and you may need to use more than one. You must read each that is relevant for your workplace. Each guide has specific actions for businesses to take based on five steps. Further guidance will be published as more businesses are able to reopen.

  1. Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment

Before restarting work, you should ensure the safety of the workplace by:

  • carrying out a risk assessment in line with the HSE guidance
  • consulting with your workers or trade unions
  • sharing the results of the risk assessment with your workforce and on your website
  1. Develop cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures

You should increase the frequency of handwashing and surface cleaning by:

  • encouraging people to follow the guidance on hand washing and hygiene
  • providing hand sanitiser around the workplace, in addition to washrooms
  • frequently cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces that are touched regularly
  • enhancing cleaning for busy areas
  • setting clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets
  • providing hand drying facilities – either paper towels or electrical dryers
  1. Help people to work from home

You should take all reasonable steps to help people work from home by:

  • discussing home working arrangements
  • ensuring they have the right equipment, for example remote access to work systems
  • including them in all necessary communications
  • looking after their physical and mental wellbeing
  1. Maintain 2m social distancing, where possible

Where possible, you should maintain 2m between people by:

  • putting up signs to remind workers and visitors of social distancing guidance
  • avoiding sharing workstations
  • using floor tape or paint to mark areas to help people keep to a 2m distance
  • arranging one-way traffic through the workplace if possible
  • switching to seeing visitors by appointment only if possible
  1. Where people cannot be 2m apart, manage transmission risk

Where it is not possible for people to be 2m apart, you should do everything practical to manage the transmission risk by:

  • considering whether an activity needs to continue for the business to operate
  • keeping the activity time involved as short as possible
  • using screens or barriers to separate people from each other
  • using back-to-back or side-to-side working whenever possible
  • staggering arrival and departure times
  • reducing the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnering’

The government has also published simplified guidance for 14 different types of work: working safely during coronavirus

Customise and download these free posters, developed by our Environmental Health Team, to advise your staff and customers on controlling the spread of COVID- 19.

Helping food businesses understand their legal responsibilities in relation to health and safety at work and advice on creating a safe and healthy workplace. The information on this page also includes the complete COVID-19 restrictions and legislation with respect to the opening and closing of businesses.