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14/09/2020
Businesses urged to step up to tackle increasing Covid cases

Businesses in Wolverhampton are being urged to step up now to help tackle the increase of Covid-19 cases locally and nationally.

It is the responsibility of businesses to keep their customers and staff safe and limit the spread of the virus.

Risk assessments should be carried out against Covid-19 guidelines and measures put in place to protect their staff’s health and wellbeing.

To ensure staff are not put at risk business settings need to be particularly alert to:

  • How employees travel to and from work avoiding car sharing outside their household
  • Staggering start, finish and break times
  • Avoiding 'bunching' at communal areas like kitchens, clocking in stations and lockers
  • Cleaning touchpoints like door handles very regularly e.g. every hour
  • The importance of notifying Public Health England if there are two or more cases in the space of 14 days

Shoppers, diners and drinkers are being urged to vote with their feet and avoid businesses which are not doing enough.

That includes restaurants, pubs and bars that don’t collect customers' contact details for NHS Test and Trace purposes, shops which are failing to enforce regulations around the use of face coverings and businesses which haven’t got measures in place to enable people to practice social distancing.

From Monday (September 14) it will also be compulsory for these venues to collect details for NHS Test and Trace; currently it is only guidance. Businesses that fail to ensure their premises adhere to the rules face fines.

All pubs, bars and restaurants are reminded they must:

  • record all customers’ details so that NHS Test and Trace can contact them in the event of an outbreak
  • ensure customers only socialise in groups of up to six, unless additional people are part of the same household or support bubble - and that people from different households are able to social distance as required
  • ensure staff and customers are able to practice regular handwashing and good hygiene
  • notify the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Public Health team by emailing healthprotection@wolverhampton.gov.uk and Public Health England by calling 0344 225 3560 and choosing option 0 and then option 2 if two or more members of staff test positive for Covid-19.

Any business found to be operating dangerously could be closed down using powers given to local councils under the Coronavirus Act 2020. Businesses which would like support with interpreting the latest guidance should contact the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Trade With Confidence team on 01902 552079 or via tradewithconfidence.food@wolverhampton.gov.uk.

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said:

"It is the responsibility of every business and employer to take all reasonable measures to limit the risk of transmission of Covid-19 and keep their customers safe.

“For pubs, bars and restaurants, that means ensuring they are complying with their existing licensing conditions as well as the new guidance brought in to allow licensed premises to reopen safely.

"In particular, businesses are required to capture customers' contact details for NHS Test and Trace; it's really important that they are doing this, whether this is when customers book a table or when they arrive at the pub or restaurant. I would also urge all customers to ensure they provide their contact details either when booking or on arrival; in doing so, they will be protecting themselves, their family and the wider community.

"All businesses in Wolverhampton need to act responsibly to limit the spread of Covid-19. The vast majority are doing an incredible job in the most difficult of circumstances and I would like to thank them for their continuing efforts which will help us to avoid a local lockdown.

“However, if we do find premises aren’t operating safely we can close them down in conjunction with the police. We have had to use these powers on a bar recently - and we really hope that businesses will continue to follow Government guidance on keeping customers and staff safe."

Information and advice to help businesses operate in a Covid-secure manner is available at www.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-reopening.

Symptoms of Covid-19 include a fever, a new, continuous cough and loss or change to a person’s sense of taste and smell. People with symptoms, no matter how mild, should immediately self-isolate and book a test by visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119.

Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will be asked to share information about people that have been close contacts recently.

The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at www.gov.uk/coronavirus and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/coronavirus. There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and their families from coronavirus from the NHS at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.

The council’s Stay Safe, Be Kind campaign offers clear and simple advice about how people can help themselves, and how they can support others who may be particularly vulnerable at this time. For more information, please visit www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/stay-safe-be-kind

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