COVID-19: Information & Advice for BID Members

Latest general Government guidance for businesses can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19

FACE COVERINGS

TEST & TRACE

The easing of social and economic lockdown measures following the COVID-19 outbreak is being supported by NHS Test and Trace. Organisations in certain sectors should assist this service by keeping a temporary record of customers and visitors for 21 days, in a way that is manageable for your organisation, and assists NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed. This could help contain clusters or outbreaks.  Full guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/maintaining-records-of-staff-customers-and-visitors-to-support-nhs-test-and-trace. Sectors that this guidance applies to:

  • Hospitality, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés;
  • Tourism and leisure, including hotels, museums, cinemas, zoos and theme parks;
  • Close contact services, including hairdressers, barbershops and tailors;
  • Facilities provided by local authorities, including town halls and civic centres for events, community centres, libraries and children’s centres; and
  • Places of worship, including use for events and other community activities.

EMPLOYEE RETURN-TO-WORK TOOL

The government has developed a tool to help employees in England easily assess if they can return to work. The tool guides employees through questions that may influence their ability to go back to work safely. Employers can share this tool with employees to aid discussion on how employees can return to work safely.  Please find out more here: https://bit.ly/EmployeeTool

HOSPITALITY SECTOR

The Government has issued comprehensive guidance for the hospitality sector: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/restaurants-offering-takeaway-or-delivery

TVP have also sent us this shortened and simplified version of the guidance which is very interesting and useful to read from a legal perspective: https://www.popall.co.uk/news-publications/news/government-guidance-on-pubs-bars-and-restaurants–some-initial-thoughts

The key points in the Government guidance include:

  • Thinking about risk
  • Keeping your customers & visitors safe
  • Who should go to work
  • Social distancing for workers
  • Cleaning the workplace
  • PPE and face coverings
  • Workforce management
  • Inbound & outbound goods

VAT – reduced rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation & attractions: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/vat-reduced-rate-for-hospitality-holiday-accommodation-and-attractions

WBC is seeking interest from businesses regarding the possibility of extending their outside seating trading areas. Please continue to email trafficandroadsafety@westberks.gov.uk to register your interest and raise any specific suggestions that you may have regarding this. Please don’t miss out on this opportunity to hopefully redesign our public spaces and potentially utilise them for our hospitality sector! Read their announcement and details here: https://info.westberks.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=37334

CLOSE CONTACT SERVICES

The Government has also issued guidance for people who provide close contact services, including hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, tattooists, sports and massage therapists, dress fitters, tailors and fashion designers: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/close-contact-services

NON-ESSENTIAL SHOPS & BUSINESSES

Updated guidance for non-essential shops and businesses takes into account the best practice demonstrated by the many retailers which have been allowed to remain open and have applied social distancing measures in-store.

Measures that shops should consider include:

  • placing a poster in your windows to demonstrate awareness of the guidance and commitment to safety measures
  • storing returned items for 72 hours before putting them back out on the shop floor
  • placing protective coverings on large items touched by the public such as beds or sofas
  • frequent cleaning of objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, including self-checkouts, trolleys, coffee machines and betting terminals, for example.

The vast majority of businesses will want to do everything possible to protect their staff and customers. Tough powers are in place to enforce action for any that don’t, including fines and jail sentences of up to two years.

For working safely during COVID-19, please open the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

For managing health and safety at the workplace, please read the following guidelines set out by the Health and Safety Executives

https://www.hse.gov.uk/simple-health-safety/risk/index.htm

For guidance on how to clean a non-healthcare setting, please see the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings

CORONAVIRUS JOB RETENTION SCHEME

From August to October, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will continue, but with greater flexibility to support the transition back to work. Employers currently using the scheme will be able to bring furloughed employees back part-time and will be asked to start sharing with the Government the costs of paying people’s salaries.

Please click the link below for further information:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-extends-furlough-scheme-until-october

The government has launched a new calculator to help employers with their next CJRS claims. 

Employers can use the calculator to work out how much they have to pay their furloughed and flexibly furloughed employees, how much they can claim for employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions and how much they can claim back.

You can access the new job retention calculator here: https://bit.ly/CJRSCalculator

Please note that the calculator will be updated to reflect changes to the scheme over the coming months. 

In addition, employers can now also download a template if you’re claiming for 100 or more employees through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (for claims on or after 1 July 2020).

You can download the new template here: https://bit.ly/CJRSTemplate

WHERE TO GO FOR SUPPORT

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