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Coronavirus

See the latest news and get more information regarding coronavirus (Covid-19). Find out more about the help for affected businesses, charities and individuals. There is also advice on how to open your business and shop, safely. Please use our online forms, webchat, app and phone number to contact us. Our Wigton office is open by appointment only - call 0303 123 1702 to book an appointment to speak to a customer service advisor.

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Opening your business safely

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

High streets and town centres will also start to look a bit different as measures are introduced to keep shoppers and visitors safe.

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

NHS Test and Trace app and contact tracing information

Advice for businesses

The UK is currently experiencing a public health emergency as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

It is therefore critical that organisations take a range of measures to keep everyone safe. The easing of social and economic lockdown measures following the COVID-19 outbreak is being supported by NHS Test and Trace.

Venues in hospitality, the tourism and leisure industry, close contact services and local authority facilities must:

  • ask at least one member of every party of customers or visitors (up to 6 people) to provide their name and contact details
  • keep a record of all staff working on their premises and shift times on a given day and their contact details
  • keep these records of customers, visitors and staff for 21 days and provide data to NHS Test and Trace if requested
  • display an official NHS QR code poster from 24 September 2020, so that customers and visitors can ‘check in’ using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details
  • adhere to General Data Protection Regulations

Hospitality venues must also refuse entry to those who refuse to participate.

Failure to do any of these requirements will result in fixed penalty fines of up to £4,000. Read the full guidance on gov.uk website.

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

The NHS Test and Trace app

The NHS Test and Trace app is available for anyone to download. It is 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. 

The app will be used, alongside traditional contact tracing, to notify users if they come into contact with someone who later tests positive for coronavirus.

The app will also help us understand if the virus is spreading in our area, helping us to respond quickly to stop it spreading further and save lives. The app does this while protecting a user’s anonymity. Nobody, including the government, will know who or where a particular user is.

You can download the app from the Apple and Android play stores.

NHS Track and Trace video

Have you checked whether your business can open?

We strongly recommend that you check the government guidance on which businesses have to remain closed . This page is regularly updated, so do keep an eye on any changes.

See what you can and can't do as the lockdown eases

Make sure you let people know what you've done to make your business safe and reassure your customers and staff

Download a self-certification poster, or sign up to the Visit Britain scheme. More details in the 'Provide reassurance to your customers and staff' tab below

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

Sector specific guidance

Guides for different types of work – including:

Shops and other services

Restaurants, bars, cafes and takeaways

Guidance for keeping workers and customers safe in restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services

Restaurants offering takeaway/delivery,

Early closing

All pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality venuesmust close at 10pm and table service will be required. The new rule on table service will mean fines if it is broken. Takeaways must also close at 10pm but deliveries can continue after that.

Face coverings

Face masks are compulsory for staff and customers at hospitality venues, except when seated for food and drink.

Extending your drinking/eating area

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. 

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. 

Pavement licences

There is a new, temporary, fast-track process for businesses to obtain a pavement licence for the placement of furniture, such as tables and chairs, on the highway (including footpaths and pavements) next to their premises. This permission can only be used for the purpose of selling or consuming food and drink in connection with the business.

The Government guidance is on the GOV.UK website here

You can find out more about pavement licences and apply here

Hotels, accommodation providers and visitor attractions

Sports, gyms, leisure services, and close contact services

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.

Advice for beauty salons

Outdoor cinemas and other outdoor performances

Construction, factories and industry

Offices

Other types of business

Further advice for business on reopening after lockdown

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’

The FAQ linked below sets out what you should do if you are reopening your business following the lifting of restrictions. It is a .pdf file and can be printed or downloaded for easy reference.

The document will be updated as government guidance changes.

Reopening your business FAQ

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.

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.

The guidance was updated on 9 September with the intention of making it mandatory from September 18. Further advice on this will be published here.

The government is therefore asking businesses to assist this Test and Trace service by keeping a temporary record of their customers and visitors for 21 days, in a way that is manageable for the business and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed. This could help contain clusters or outbreaks.

There is a higher risk of transmitting COVID-19 in premises where customers and visitors spend a longer time in one place and potentially come into close contact with other people outside of their household. To manage this risk, establishments in the following sectors, whether indoor or outdoor venues or mobile settings, should collect details and maintain records of staff, customers and visitors:

  • 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

Businesses and venues are being encouraged to 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.

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.

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

The government has therefore issued guidance on why they are asking businesses to do this, and how to do it safely.

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

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

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

If you are a business or organisation that is planning to reopen as the coronavirus lockdown restrictions ease, don't forget you will need to restart your trade waste collection.

We suspended many collections at the start of the lockdown as businesses closed. To restart it or to become a new customer of ours and set up a new contract, email our friendly team at: trade.waste@allerdale.gov.uk

Find out more about the trade waste services we provide.

Find out more about handling potentially infected waste safely.

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

From 15 June, betting shops in England are permitted to open. 

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.