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Death of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

Allerdale pays tribute to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh who has sadly died on 9 April 2021.

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Coronavirus

Coronavirus restrictions remain in place across England including Allerdale. Some of the rules on what you can and cannot do changed on March 29. However, many restrictions remain in place. This link includes details of the roadmap out of lockdown. The government has announced further easing of restrictions from April 12.

• See the latest news and get more information regarding coronavirus (Covid-19) and our services.

• Help for affected businesses, charities and other organisations including the support grants that are available.

• Advice for individuals including the Test and Trace Support payment to help those self-isolating.

• Our customer contact centres are not open to the public at the moment due to the restrictions. Please use our online forms, webchat, app and phone number to contact us

Guidance for businesses

There are steps every organisation can do to ensure they open safely.

There is also advice for shoppers and visitors on what to expect and how they can help everyone to stay safe.

Coronavirus restrictions

England has been placed in a national lockdown. This link includes details of the roadmap out of lockdown.

From 29 March:

  • you are able to meet outdoors either in a group of 6 (from any number of households), or in a group of any size from up to 2 households (each household can include existing support bubbles, if eligible)
  • you are able to take part in formally organised outdoor sports with any number of people (outdoor sports venues and facilities will be able to reopen)
  • childcare and supervised activities will be allowed outdoors for all children
  • formally organised parent and child groups will be able to take place outdoors for up to 15 attendees. Children under 5 will not be counted in this number

The government has announced further easing of restrictions from April 12.

Government advice for businesses 

For all business operators, whatever type of business you are,  the gov.uk website  provides a great deal of information for businesses and we would recommend you visit their website regularly to keep pace with the government changes and advice.

General social distancing and face coverings guidance

Advice on reopening safely from April 12

We have produced an guide for all businesses to help them reopen safely. It includes details on water safety, insurance, waste and other issues. There is also information on collecting customer details.

Do also check the further advice and guidance further down the page.

As most businesses await news of further guidance on how to run their shops, cafes, restaurants and more, we thought we would get the ball rolling with a quick and easy, top 10 reminders before re-opening.

Put together by our business services and regulatory teams, we hope you will find this useful to slowly start thinking about business as usual: 

Insurance

Please check that any insurance pertaining to your premises has been re-activated or renewed - you can check this directly with your provider.

Legionella

Businesses which have been closed and not in use must ensure they include the safety of their water systems in their reopening check lists. Legionnaires Disease is found in hot and cold water systems and as a business owner you have a duty to ensure the risk is managed correctly. For advice on what you should be doing please refer to the CIEH guide.  

Alcohol Licence

If you are thinking of selling alcohol in an outdoor area or selling hot food/drinks after 11pm, please check your premises licence including the licensed area marked on the plan. Your outdoor area will require a licence for this activity.

Pavement Licence

If you wish to utilise the pavement outside your premises (and it is a designated highway, not private land) for tables, seating or other furniture, you may require a pavement licence. You can find more information about this process at Pavement licence together with the policy and conditions of licence. If you already hold a licence from Cumbria County Council, it will not be necessary for you to apply to Allerdale. Any premises or pavement licence enquiries can be sent by email  or by contacting us on 0303 123 1702.

Waste disposal

Ensure you have renewed or reactivated your waste disposal contract. You can find out more about out trade waste services on our website . Please remember that businesses cannot use the recycling bring sites located at various places around the borough. These are for residents to use. 

Covid Risk assessment

Review your Covid risk assessment and ensure staff are aware and trained in the changes – an example template can be found on the HSE website .

Control customer flow

As part of the Covid risk assessment, please think about how you will control the flow of customers. For example, people coming in and out for the use of toilets, how you will require people to pay and where and how you will ensure people queue outside adhering to social distancing rules. There are guidelines in place but each individual premises will need to ensure it is set up in the best possible way for their situation.

Cleaning

Ensure to carry out a deep clean of your Kitchen ready for trading and disinfect (recommend BS EN 1276) all surfaces, products, handles etc - before re-opening and subsequently after opening.

Date coding

If you are a food premises, carry out stock rotation and discard out of date products as necessary.

Hands - Face - Space 

Ensure that you keep up to date with the most current guidance regarding hand sanitising, wearing of face coverings and social distancing requirements.

Workplace Pack

Public Health England have also put together a 'Workplace Pack' in order to support and help businesses with the management of covid cases in the work setting. It would be handy to keep close by, should the need arise. Download the Workplace Pack (Word document)

For the most up to date guidance and advice, please visit the gov.uk website. When specific guidelines have been released, this is where you will find it first. We will of course update our website as soon as we have also been advised by central government.

If you have any questions and cannot find the answer on the Allerdale Borough Council or Gov.uk websites, please  email the team   where we will be happy to help

Collecting customer details and helping with test and trace

The government has issued guidance for businesses on collecting and maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors on the premises to support NHS Test and Trace.

  • hospitality, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés
  • tourism and leisure, including hotels, museums, cinemas, zoos and theme parks
  • close contact services, including hairdressers, barbershops and tailors
  • facilities provided by local authorities, including town halls and civic centres for events, community centres, libraries and children’s centres
  • places of worship, including use for events and other community activities
  • (see the full list of businesses)

This record can be maintained electronically or by a paper copy, whichever suits the business. Do think about how you'll uphold the privacy of your customers too.

As restrictions ease and venues reopen it is essential that we have the right tools in place to help prevent transmission of COVID-19.

To support outbreak management, you are required to comply with the Collection of Contact Details Regulations which means you must display an NHS QR code poster and request that customers and visitors check in to your premises.

If individuals do not have the app, you must have a system in place to collect their name and contact details instead (advance bookings where contact details are provided can serve as the source of this information). Individuals should only be asked to check in with either the NHS QR code, or by providing their contact details, but not both. In addition, you must also ensure you have up to date staff contact details and records for when staff are on the premises. To help you with this, I would like to take this opportunity to notify you of recent changes to the requirements, remind you what processes you need to have in place, and share materials to support you and your staff.

These Regulations are essential for protecting public health objectives and supporting the safe reopening of businesses to boost the economy. Customer, visitor, and staff records are a key component of enhanced contact tracing and will support local teams to respond to clusters and outbreaks in their area as England exits lockdown. As COVID-19 prevalence drops, enhanced contact tracing will become increasingly important in enabling local teams to respond to outbreaks quickly.

The Environmental Health team with be in the district, working with businesses and carrying out Compliance checks on venues from 12 April 2021 (for those businesses able to reopen - and from May for all other venues). Please ensure that you are complying with the Collection of Contact Details Regulations to avoid breaches of these requirements and that you understand and are adhering to all the requirements.

The Regulations were amended 29 March 2021 and you must now request that every individual scan the NHS QR code or provide their contact details upon arrival, not just the lead member of the group. This is to make sure that every person can receive timely public health advice if they may have been exposed to COVID-19. You should ensure all your staff have been notified of this change and understand that they are now required to ask all people entering the venue to scan the NHS QR code or provide their contact details. Exemptions include children under the age of 16 and people entering the venue for drop off / takeaway only.

What to do before you reopen

Before reopening your venue, please ensure you understand your obligations to:

  • Display an official NHS QR code poster
  • Request that all customers and visitors scan the NHS QR code or provide their contact details
  • Keep a record of all staff including shift times
  • Provide an alternative method to collect contact details which doesn’t require ownership of a smartphone
  • Keep information securely for 21 days before destroying it, and provide it to NHS Test & Trace if requested
  • Hospitality venues only: Take reasonable steps to refuse entry to those who refuse to participate. This means you must to the best of your ability comply with the requirement to refuse entry and you should satisfy yourself that you have done all that could reasonably be expected.

Businesses and venues can create posters with unique QR codes on them ahead of the launch of the NHS Test and Trace app to help people check-in using the app when they visit.

NHS Test and Trace will use contact tracing information to identify venues where other individuals present may have been exposed to COVID-19 and need to be contacted. If this happens, your venue will be contacted to request your logbook and you will be given detailed instructions about how to do this at the time, as well as further guidance and support about what this means for your business. Your venue will not automatically need to close, and your venue will also not be named when we contact individuals.

Individuals will be contacted with a ‘warn and inform’ message – this is not an instruction to self-isolate; it simply reminds individuals to follow guidance and look out for symptoms. In some instances, we may recommend individuals book a test. App users who checked in with the NHS QR code will receive this as a notification via their app, and non-app users or those that left their contact details will be sent this message via SMS.

Do not be concerned if you are not asked to share your logbooks – this simply means that we have not identified multiple positive cases linked to your venue. It is still essential to maintain logbooks or NHS Test and Trace cannot contain outbreaks where they do occur.

Further advice and guidance

Further guidance on the requirements can be found on the gov.uk website .

There are downloadable assets and posters issued by the NHS including clear Venue Check in Regulations , information on why visitors must check in  , a guide for businesses  and a Hospitality fact sheet.  

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has produced guidance to ensure that you are GDPR compliant when collecting and storing contact details.

Should you have any questions or queries please email  us and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.  

Download the government toolkit with resources to help you promote the initiative.

There is also more guidance provided by Cumbria Tourism and Burnett's Solicitors

Stay safe and wishing you every success.

NHS Test and Trace app

The NHS Test and Trace app will be launched on 24 September 2020 for anyone to download. It will be part of the government's efforts to tackle the spread of coronavirus and provide you with a way to check-in to venues you've visited such as cafe's and restaurants, as well as get information if you have been near to anyone who subsequently tests positive for coronavirus. 

You will be able to download the app from the Apple and Android play stores from 24 September 2020.

Businesses and venues are being encouraged to create posters with unique QR codes on them ahead of the launch to help people check-in using the app when they visit.

NHS Track and Trace video

Sector specific guidance

During the national lockdown, many businesses will be expected to close. However, we are maintaining the links below for those businesses that are able to continue to operate, and also to help those preparing for when they may be able to reopen. The links do also provide valuable information on the sector-specific restrictions.

Shops and other services

Restaurants, bars, cafes and takeaways

These links provide more sector specific guidance on the new restrictions.

Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services

Restaurants offering takeaway/delivery,

If you are a "wet-led pub", you may be entitled to a £1000 Christmas Support Payment

Hotels, accommodation providers and visitor attractions

Sports, gyms, leisure services, and close contact services

These links provide more sector specific guidance on the new restrictions.

Sports, gyms and leisure services

Advice for close contact services such as hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, tattooists, sports and massage therapists, dress fitters, tailors and fashion designers.

New guidelines from the government (published August 13) mean that all staff offering close contact services, including hairdressers, should now wear a face mask (type 2 surgical), in addition to a clear visor that covers the face. The guidance also applies to businesses that operate remotely, such as massage therapists working in people’s homes, and those learning in vocational training environments.

Outdoor cinemas and other outdoor performances

Providers of grassroots sports and sport facilities

Construction, factories and industry

Offices

This link below provides more sector specific guidance on the new restrictions. 

Offices and contact centres

Other types of business

These links provide more sector specific guidance on the new restrictions.

Labs and research facilities

Other people's homes.

Guidance for driving instructors

Further advice and guidance for business

Whilst many businesses are required to close under Tier Four restrictions, this guidance is being left for those businesses that can open, and for when the restrictions are eased.

The government has devised these five steps for working safely . These give you some general ideas on what to do.

Make sure you read all the guides relevant to your workplace. Each guide has specific actions for businesses to take based on these steps. Further guidance will be published as more businesses are able to reopen. More specific advice is also available on the next tabs.

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’s 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’

Once you have completed the necessary steps, display this poster within your business to reassure your customers and staff. Giving confidence that you have taken steps to minimise the risks from Covid-19 could be vital for your business as it will mean your staff are happy to work there and your customers to shop and visit. It also shows that you are taking your responsibilities seriously.

Download the Covid assurance self-certification poster

However, do ensure you have completed everything before displaying the poster to avoid giving false reassurance. As a business, you are the duty holder responsible for being Covid-19 secure and should not be putting people at risk or not complying with the guidance. If we receive allegations that you are putting people at risk or not complying with the guidance then we may visit your business to discuss this with you.

There is a HSE helpdesk should you require further guidance or have a question on being Covid-19 secure in your business. This help can be provided to all businesses by the business completing a form online or telephoning HSE. Details can be found on the HSE website.

Tourism businesses

If you are a tourism business, apply to the  "good to go" scheme provided by Visit Britain to help reassure your customers that you take their health and safety seriously.

Businesses are currently unable to place seating, tables or other street furniture on the pavements unless they already have a valid pavement license issued by Cumbria County Council. The government recently made changes to the legislation on pavement licenses and we'll be announcing guidance on this soon.

We're also encouraging any licensed premises that wishes to extend its drinking or dining area into other parts of their property – such as in a marquee on their car park – to check their license carefully. If their license does not allow for this, they will have to apply for a variation on their license. All businesses should contact the licensing department on 0303 123 1702. 

Should you have been a business which was required to close under the regulations or you made the decision to close, you need to consider how to ensure your water is clean and wholesome before reopening your business to prevent water-borne illnesses, like Legionella. 

There is guidance produced by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health as well as Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive.

 United Utilities have also produced this guidance on water safety .

Private water supplies

All suppliers and users should be aware of the importance of maintaining a clean and safe, wholesome drinking water supply for domestic purposes such as drinking, washing, cooking and preparing or cooking food. 

After an extended period of low turnover or no demand, a water supply may deteriorate when left stagnant in storage tanks and pipework. Additionally, equipment used to treat, distribute and deliver water to the tap or outlet may not work as expected. These risks may not have been previously considered as part of a risk assessment or more specifically your Water Safety Plan (WSP).

Deterioration may well be significantly exacerbated following prolonged shutdown, and may present serious and unaccounted for risks to health. Typical examples of deterioration problems might include the leaching of metals such as lead and nickel to a poisonous level; the build-up of Legionella in tanks creating serious respiratory hazards; the accumulation of foul taste or odour issues causing consumers concern or to reject the water; and dried out filters which may no longer be effective or have accumulated serious contamination. These
examples are not exhaustive.

In most routine circumstances, water supplies to premises should, as a minimum, be disinfected and have progressive flushing of storage tanks and pipework to introduce fresh water into the system before consumer access. However, it will vary from system to system
as to how this is done, for example, hot water systems will need to be raised to a temperature of greater than 60ºC, and full system disinfection may be required.

Relevant persons of a private water supply are reminded that they remain responsible under the Water Industry Act 1991 (as amended), and the Private Water Supplies (England) Regulations (2016) (as amended) to provide sufficient and wholesome water at all times.

All actions should be documented, and made available for the inspecting officer.

Hazards of a water supply can be roughly divided into microbial, chemical (including disinfection) and configuration, and some basic considerations should include the following:

Microbial:

  1. Ingress & faecal contamination; bacteria and viruses of faecal origin; environmental bacteria; bacteria/fungi of decay;
  2. Regrowth; stagnation; biofilms;
  3. Points of user contamination such as water dispensers, water fountains which may be contaminated by viruses, bacteria and fungi e.g. Covid-19;
  4. Organisms of serious concern e.g. Legionella spp.;
  5. Nuisance organisms causing discolouration, fouling, or staining by iron precipitating bacteria,
  6. Taste and odour, including dimethyl polysulphides, e.g. Pseudomonas, Flavobacterium and Aeromonas, Penicillium caeseicolum; or hydrogen sulphide by Clostridium, Bacillus Desulfovibrio or Desulfotomaculum; vii. Reduction of chloramines to free chlorine and nitrite by nitrifying bacteria.

Chemical

  1. Leaching of cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, or zinc in plumbing;
  2. Naturally occurring

Configuration

  1. Design of materials, pipes and fittings (including taps);
  2. Galvanic corrosion;
  3. Backflow, migration, valves, air gaps, dead ends, water treatment devices such as softeners, filters, reverse osmosis devices.

Inspections

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the current Government advice is to adopt social distancing where possible and to avoid unnecessary travel in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). In order to comply with that Government advice, Allerdale has postponed private water supply sampling visits until guidance changes.

Where possible, we may be able to reschedule any outstanding samples to later in the calendar year depending on developments going forward.

It is therefore recommended that in the absence of any monitoring, consumers and other relevant persons of private water supplies should be encouraged to bolster their operational checks and ensure that maintenance is being carried out as required (e.g. replacing UV lamps or monitoring chlorine dose) and that they have sufficient spares of essential equipment to ensure supplies remain wholesome at all times.

These actions should be documented, and presented to Local Authorities to confirm that supplies did not present a risk to health during these exceptional circumstances. Please use the survey below complete and return to our environmental health department with the relevant documentation. This will act as due diligence in regards to the safety of your water supply whilst sampling is postponed.

Download the survey form for use by those with private water supplies

For more information contact our environmental health team by email .

As an employer, you need to re-visit your risk assessments to take into account the Covid-19 pandemic and the controls that need to be in place to protect your employees, and others, from harm.  

There is no question that Covid-19 can cause harm so you must take action to control the risk. If you have more than five employees, then you must document this risk assessment, although it is good practice to document this even if you have less than five employees.

Further guidance is provided by the Health and Safety Executive with more advice for employers and businesses .

There is also an online and telephone advice service giving advice for your workplace, contact the Health and Safety Executive on:

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has provided additional guidance specifically for food businesses including checklists to help you ensure your business is operating safely. 

Their guidance will give you a practical framework to identify what you need to do to continue, adapt, or restart operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes the hygiene processes and requirements you must follow to safely operate your food business.  

Other areas which may interest you include:

  • Guidance on cleaning and other hygiene issues including: guidance to supplement your own food safety management procedures (i.e. Safer Food Better Business (SFBB)), and any hygiene and cleaning procedures you have developed based on public health guidance on coronavirus. If you do not use SFBB, your food safety management system should be updated accordingly.  

Remember that normal food hygiene practices also need to continue once your business has reopened.  

We have produced a separate guide for those wanting to open a takeaway service.

As a licensed premises, you may be considering the off-sale of alcohol. The Local Government Association has put together a guide with advice for you:

 Advice on the off-sale of alcohol

The government has devised this guide on how to keep your non-healthcare business clean. Please note that this is of a general nature and should be treated as a guide, and in the event of any conflict between any applicable legislation (including the health and safety legislation) and this guidance, the applicable legislation shall prevail.

Find out how to keep your business clean .

Public transport

From 15 June 2020 it compulsory to wear a face mask when on public transport such as buses and trains.

Taxis and private hire vehicles

Face masks are compulsory for all users of taxis and private hire vehicles.

Download Cumbria County Council's advice on taxis

The Gambling Commisions have published  some advice aimed at helping operators manage compliance with Government Covid-19 guidance on re-opening with continued compliance with the licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP). 

If you are a member of a trade association or similar body, then they may also have provided support and advice or if not, it would be worthwhile to contact them for support as they can provide business specific guidance.

We hope this advice and guidance will provide you with the confidence to reopen safely. We recognise that a lot of it is generic, and size does not fit all and as the business operator. As you are most familiar with your business operation to provide specific controls  most suitable for your business. We would recommend you contact your trade association and/or also seek professional advice on specific issues as necessary.

You can also contact our Environmental Health team by email and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Once you have completed the necessary steps, display this poster within your business to reassure your customers and staff. Giving confidence that you have taken steps to minimise the risks from Covid-19 could be vital for your business as it will mean your staff are happy to work there and your customers to shop and visit. It also shows that you are taking your responsibilities seriously.

However, do ensure you have completed everything before displaying the poster to avoid giving false reassurance. If we receive allegations that you are putting people at risk or not complying with the guidance then we may come and inspect your business.

You may also be entitled to some financial assistance from the government. Our webpage provides further information on this.

Making arrangements for social distancing and extra hygiene precautions are going to be foremost in your mind, but don’t forget there are always those who look to exploit situations when your attention may be elsewhere. Good counter terrorism measures also have benefits in deterring crime.

The guide below will help address the issues associated with national security and coronavirus measures.

NaCTSO advice for business on national security and coronavirus measures  

The government has produced some management action cards to help businesses fight the virus if they think they may have an outbreak at their business premises.