Coronavirus

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

Coronavirus guidance for businesses

Latest government guidance

Working safely during coronavirus (Covid-19)

With the easing of restrictions on trading and the re-opening of many shops, bars, pubs, restaurants, accommodation and service sector business, including hairdressers and barbers, it is essential that we continue to follow the relevant laws and guidance to control the risk to public health. The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020 imposed restrictions on those businesses which must remain closed. You can check which types of businesses are affected

All businesses and venues other than those specifically listed can now reopen. Before restarting work you should ensure the safety of the workplace; all employers and self-employed people must assess the risks of coronavirus infection to their staff and others affected by their business. Controls must be put in place to reduce these risks to an acceptable level. You need to make sure that your staff do not come to work if they are displaying the symptoms of Coronavirus or if they need to be self-isolating.

Coronavirus protecting our businesses and customers - As a Slough business you have a vital role to keep us all safe by remaining vigilant and following national and local guidance.This leaflet covers the risks of Covid-19 infection and transmission in workplaces – particularly in areas where social distancing is a challenge, as well as other important advice on operating your business at this time.

5 steps to working safely


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  If you have fewer than five employees, you don’t have to write anything down, but it might help if you do.
  • consulting with your workers or trade unions
  • sharing the results of the risk assessment with your workforce. You will need to make sure that your staff understand what precautions you have put in place to protect them and others when they come back to work.
  • You will need to give your staff extra training /instructions.

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.’

Business Coronavirus guidance - As a Slough business you have a vital role to keep us all safe by remaining vigilant and following national and local guidance.This leaflet covers the risks of Covid-19 infection and transmission in workplaces – particularly in areas where social distancing is a challenge, as well as other important advice on operating your business at this time.

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.

Slough Borough Council operating a COVID secure business  - letter sent out to the hospitality sector as they open, on how to protect the safety of staff, customers and the general public. Letter-to-Hospitality-Sector-02_Jul_20.pdf

Other letters we have sent

Letter-to-retail-business-June-20.pdf
Letter-to-food-businesses-11-June-20.pdf
Letter-for-Small-Supermarkets-June-2020.pdf
Letter-To-Hairdresser-salons-10-July.pdf

Keep records to assist 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 close recent contacts. To be able to assist in this it is helpful 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, 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.
If there is more than one case of COVID-19 associated with a workplace, employers should contact their local health protection team https://www.gov.uk/health-protection-team and/or CV19Notifications@slough.gov.uk to report the suspected outbreak.

Getting ready to reopen

As well as thinking about the risks of coronavirus infection you also need to think about some other issues that may have arisen during lockdown.

Legionella

Legionella is a bacteria that can grow in water systems in buildings (including spa pools and water features). It can grow in any water system but if your system (taps, toilets, showers etc) has been unused for sometime, the risks are increased. You must take steps to control Legionella bacteria as it can cause serious illness and may be fatal. As well as the information from the Health and Safety Executive there is additional guidance from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health about what you should to do to control Legionella – CIEH legionella-guidance-covid-191.pdf

Pest Control

If your business has been unoccupied for some time then there is a greater chance that there may have been some pest activity on site. This applies to all businesses but particularly food businesses. Before opening you need to visit the premises and check it for signs of pest activity. If you find signs of pests then you will need to arrange a programme of treatments and thorough cleaning and disinfection of all affected areas. If you run a food business you may also need to dispose of contaminated food and packaging materials. You may need to undertake some maintenance to protect (proof) your businesses to prevent pests from entering.
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COVID-19: Food safety guidance for businesses

It is very unlikely that COVID-19 can be spread through food. However, you should continue to implement the same strict food safety controls as previously to prevent food from becoming unsafe. If you are changing any of your operating procedures or adding any new ones, then you need to consider any new hazards and ensure that you have suitable control measures in place to protect both your customers and your staff.

Food businesses, includes businesses who sell via social media, such as Facebook are required to be registered with a Local Authority. You can register your businesses online via: Register a food business 

Allergens

You need to be sure you give consumers correct and accurate information on allergens when making their food choices. There is a wealth of advice for businesses on allergen management on the FSA website.

For further advice on food safety visit our web page Food hygiene & safety

Additional guidance for food businesses

The FSA has published guidance for food businesses https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/reopening-and-adapting-your-food-business-during-covid-19 on coronavirus (COVID-19)

UK Hospitality has published re-opening guidance for hospitality businesses –

UKHospitality-reopening-guidance-for-hospitality-businesses.pdf

Useful information is also available for those that are involved in any community cooking and food banks https://www.food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene/food-safety-for-community-cooking-and-food-banks

Food safety for food delivery https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/food-safety-for-food-delivery

Cleaning effectively in your business https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/cleaning-effectively-in-your-business

Allergens

You need to be sure you give consumers correct and accurate information on allergens when making their food choices. There is a wealth of advice for businesses on allergen management on the FSA website.

For further advice on food safety visit our web page Food hygiene & safety.