As the government looks to restart the economy, the council’s regulatory teams – Trading Standards, Environmental Health, Licensing and Housing – are working hard to support Island employers get their businesses back up and running and workplaces operating as safely as possible.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to start trading again from 1st June – so long as they keep customers safe. All other non-essential retailers – including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, plus tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets – can follow suit 2 weeks later, from 15th June.
Employers will face spot checks to make sure they are implementing social distancing, and have been told they must complete a risk assessment after consultation with trade unions and workers.
Amanda Gregory, the council’s strategic manager for regulatory and community safety services, said:
“Our teams have been incredibly busy throughout the coronavirus crisis, handling more than 200 enquiries and complaints.
“Now, as we move towards a new normal, we are keen to support businesses and advise on how best they can ensure they are Covid-secure.
“It’s not just about queues but about what the businesses need to put in place to ensure customer and staff safety.”
The government has already published practical guidelines to make workplaces as safe as possible and give people confidence to go back to work during the pandemic.
The guidance includes 5 key steps to working safely which local businesses are urged to follow:
- Carry out a Covid-19 risk assessment.
- Develop cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures.
- Help people to work from home, where possible.
- Maintain two metre social distancing, where possible.
- Where people cannot be 2m apart, manage transmission risk.
Councillor Gary Peace, Cabinet member for community safety and public protection, said:
“Being ‘Covid-secure’ will become the test that businesses will need to meet, and we will be doing all we can to ensure Island businesses meet those requirements and ensure our community are kept safe.”
For further information, visit https://www.iow.gov.uk/Council/OtherServices/Public-Health-Coronavirus-COVID-19/Businesses-and-employers, email [email protected] or call 01983 823000.
Premises that must remain closed include:
- restaurants and cafes, other than for takeaway or delivery
- pubs, cinemas, theatres and nightclubs
- clothing and electronics stores
- hair, beauty and nail salons
- outdoor and indoor markets (not selling food)
- libraries, community centres, and youth centres
- indoor and outdoor leisure facilities, such as bowling alleys, gyms, arcades and soft play facilities
- some communal places within parks, such as playgrounds and outdoor gyms
- places of worship (except for funerals)
- hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, caravan parks, and boarding houses for commercial/leisure use, excluding use by those who live in them permanently, those who are unable to return home and critical workers where they need to for work.