Support and advice for businesses during the covid 19 pandemic

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.

Wealden District Council is offering advice to businesses about how to comply with the current Coronavirus restrictions and what to do before re-opening. Business may only re open if they are allowed by law to do so. A full list is available here.

If a business is legally allowed to be open, they must be “Covid Secure”. The government has published 12 guides which cover different types of work.

Working safely during COVID-19

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.

The five steps to COVID-19 security

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

2. 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

3. 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

4. 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

5. 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’

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.

Enforcement

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

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

Further information