Camden urges businesses to make their premises COVID-secure
As many businesses and venues prepare to open their doors to the public this weekend, Camden Council is working quickly to help those, including pubs, bars and restaurants, which are able to open from Saturday 4 July.
“The last few months have been an extremely difficult time for local businesses, both big and small, but particularly our hospitality sector which is vital to our local economy with more than 1,700 bars and restaurants.
“Saturday marks an important day as some lockdown restrictions are lifted and pubs, bars and restaurants begin to reopen for the first time in nearly four months.
“Although we are committed to doing everything we can to support the renewal of our hospitality sector, coronavirus continues to circulate in our community. As businesses get ready to reopen this weekend, we’re asking everyone to work together to protect our community and slow the spread of the virus.”
Following recent government guidance, bars and restaurants in Camden will be able to reopen from Saturday, as long as they adhere to social distancing and safety measures that protect staff, customers and the public.
Councillor Danny Beales continued:
“We recognise the challenge for many businesses, knowing they are opening with a new duty to ensure the safety of staff and guests alike. That’s why we will continue to listen to our local businesses and provide the support they need to reopen safely and get their premises COVID-secure.”
Camden Council is urging businesses to follow Government advice by undertaking risk assessments to make their premises COVID-secure. The Government has created a COVID-secure risk assessment tool as well as updated guides to help businesses operate safely.
Where possible, businesses should encourage their customers and staff to continue to keep a safe 2m distance from others. Where they can't keep 2 metres apart, they can stay 1 metre apart – as long as other precautions are taken to keep customers and staff safe. These include:
- Use of facemasks and coverings
- Use of screens and barriers
- Implement of a one-way system for customers to navigate through the premises
- Stagger opening and closing times
- Avoid face-to face contact where possible and / or practical
- Provide hand-sanitising and washing facilities
- Minimise queuing and manage unavoidable queues.
Last week the Government also announced the introduction of a new Business and Planning Bill to enable licensed premises to create outdoor seating areas. You can read more about the current guidance here.
Councillor Danny Beales continued:
“At this stage it is not clear when this legislation is likely to come into effect, however, we are aware of concerns expressed by some residents and community groups about a possible increase in anti-social behaviour.
“We want to reassure our community that we will continue to support the hospitality sector to reopen safely, whilst also working closely with residents, businesses and partner organisations to address anti-social behaviour as lockdown restrictions are eased.”
Over the coming weekend, Camden Council will ensure there is a visible presence on the High Street to provide reassurance to the community and ensure that advice and guidance can be given directly to businesses where appropriate.
Find the latest information on support available to businesses in Camden: https://www.camden.gov.uk/financial-support-for-businesses-and-employers or call our dedicated Coronavirus helpline on: 020 7974 4444 (option 9).