Slough moves into covid tier 2

The change will come into force at 00:01 Saturday 24 October. Find out more details about Slough going into tier 2 and what it means.

Please go to our coronavirus pages for the latest guidance, how services are affected, and what help is available.

Coronavirus guidance for businesses

Latest government guidance

Trading Restrictions

Since the end of lockdown there have been a number of changes to the restrictions on businesses. There are still some businesses that are not permitted to trade. You can check which types of businesses are affected

All businesses and venues other than those specifically listed can now reopen. However, there are some restrictions on the trading hours of hospitality businesses. All hospitality businesses (pubs, cafes, restaurants, takeaways, clubs etc.) will have to close between 10pm and 5am. Food may continue to be served via delivery (phone/internet orders etc.) & ‘click and collect’ type services or via drive through after 10pm but takeaway is not permitted and no customers are allowed to enter the store to collect or order food.

There are a number of key steps to working safely during coronavirus

1. Complete a COVID-19 risk assessment. Share it with all your staff. And make sure that you put in place all of the controls that you identify in your assessment. There is guidance on how to work safely available to help you work out what controls are needed for your type of business. The HSE also has webpages with information on how to do a risk-assessment. Make sure you consult with your staff when preparing your assessment and share the final version with them

2. Clean more often. Increase how often you clean surfaces, especially those that are being touched a lot by different people (e.g. taps and door handles). Ask your staff and your customers to use hand sanitiser and wash their hands frequently.

3. Ask your customers to wear face coverings in any indoor space or where required to do so by law. That is especially important if your customers are likely to be around people they do not normally meet. Some exemptions do apply. Check when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own. Certain staff will need to wear face coverings too (see below for details). You must provide posters in prominent places as a reminder to customers or do something else to remind them of the legal requirement to wear face coverings when in your business.

4. Make sure everyone is social distancing. Social distancing means keeping 2m apart wherever possible from people not in your household. Make it easy for everyone to do so by putting up signs or introducing a one way system that your staff/customers can follow.

5. Increase ventilation by keeping doors and windows open where possible and running ventilation systems at all times.

6. Take part in NHS Test and Trace by keeping a record of all your customers for 21 days. From 18 September, this is enforced in law. Some exemptions apply. Maintain records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace for details.

7. Turn people with coronavirus symptoms away. If a staff member (or someone in their household) or a customer has a persistent cough, a high temperature or has lost their sense of taste or smell, they should be isolating.

New rules for certain businesses have been introduced from the end of September 2020. These rules are set out specifically in the law. More here: Business leaflet Oct 2020

Hospitality businesses

For licensed businesses, food and drink must be ordered, served and consumed at the table. In unlicensed cafes and fast food restaurants customers can still order at the counter and carry items to the table but items must be consumed sitting down.

All businesses must maintain records for test and trace and have on display NHS Test and Trace app QR code posters for customers to use. Any customer remaining on the premises to consume food or drink must either ‘log in’ using the test and trace app or provide their details to the business operator.

All customer facing staff (taking orders/serving food etc.) must wear a suitable face covering unless they are specifically exempt. The face covering should be close fitting around the nose and mouth. If there is a screen between the staff member and the customer a face covering is not required.

Group sizes should be a maximum of 6 people unless all members of the group are from one household.

All tables in hospitality businesses should be laid out to allow a minimum of 2 metres between them (to allow customers using the tables to socially distance). This distance may be reduced to 1 metre if there are either:-

  • suitable barriers/screens between the tables;
  • seating is arranged back to back so that people are not directly facing any one closer than 2 metres;
  • or there are other suitable controls in place to prevent virus transmission

Retail Businesses

All staff with a customer facing role will (unless they are specifically exempt) need to wear suitable face coverings. The face covering should be close fitting around the nose and mouth. If there is a screen between the staff member and the customer a face covering is not required.

Close Contact Services

This includes hairdressers, premises offering beauty treatments and tattooing etc.- from all staff providing these services must wear both a fitted Type II face covering over their nose and mouth and also a visor.

Information about customers should be kept for NHS Test and Trace purposes and you should also note which member of staff treated each customer.

Launch of Test and Trace app

The NHS Test and Trace app & QR codes has been launched. It is a legal requirement for venues, places of worship, & public service spaces to record the contact details of customers, visitors & staff on their premises. If customers do not provide this information then they should not be permitted to use the business services.

Businesses should encourage customers to use the NHS Test and Trace App wherever possible.

Letter sent to businesses regarding test and trace

The NHS test and trace service forms a central part of the government’s coronavirus recovery strategy. If the person who has symptoms has a positive test result for COVID-19, they will be asked to share information about their recent close contacts. To be able to assist in this, it is now a legal requirement to keep records (name and phone number) for:-

  • your staff and the shifts they were at work.
  • visitors to your premises
  • and record of customers who stay on site to use the facilities (takeaways and deliveries are not included) for sectors such as hospitality, tourism, close contact services, gyms, community services or in a place of worship.

Contact information needs to be kept securely for 21 days and then disposed of securely for Data Protection reasons. You will need to think about how you do this. In most cases the details of a lead group member, including their phone number will be sufficient.

Telling us about cases of COVID-19

If there is more than one case of COVID-19 associated with a workplace, employers should contact their local health protection team  and to report the suspected outbreak.

Additional Guidance

The government has produced guidance for different types of business to help them understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic. There are different guides for different business types. Please see the Government's latest guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic. 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.