Coronavirus and operating your business safely

As the threat from COVID-19 continues to affect our day to day lives, it is more important than ever that businesses operate safely and follow the latest Government guidance. Every business in East Herts needs to play their part to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Information on the Governments roadmap including which businesses and venues may open and when can be found on the Gov.uk website.

Information and advice for businesses is available on the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership website

A person operating a business in contravention of the Government's regulations will be committing an offence and may receive a fixed penalty notice as a result. East Herts Council's Environmental Health team with support from Hertfordshire Trading Standards will monitor compliance with these regulations.

If after reading the guidance, you have further questions, please email them to environmental.health@eastherts.gov.uk

Businesses must ensure that their workplace is COVID-secure to protect employees and other people on site. They must carry out a risk assessment and make sensible adjustments to the site and workforce. The Government has produced 14 guides to help ensure your work place is COVID-secure on the Gov.uk website.

The following should be carried out as a minimum:

  • COVID-19 risk assessment
  • Cleaning, hand washing and hygiene procedures in line with guidance
  • Take all reasonable steps to maintain a 2m distance in the workplace
  • Where people cannot keep 2m apart ensure at least a 1m distance and take all the mitigating actions possible to manage transmission risk
  • Provide adequate ventilation in enclosed spaces

When these steps have been taken businesses should display the Staying COVID-19 Secure poster from GOV.UK in their premises. This will inform employees, customers and visitors that the appropriate actions have been taken.

Part of ensuring your business is COVID-secure is carrying out a COVID-19 Risk Assessment. This will help understand what needs to be done in order to work safely and protect staff, customers and visitors. 

Businesses should update their risk assessments to manage the risk of coronavirus in their business and keep these under review against new government guidance. The risk assessment should identify control measures that need to be put in place to ensure that employees are working safely, what to do if there is a case of COVID-19 in the workplace and early COVID-19 outbreak management. It should also include assessing the risk to customers, suppliers, contractors and visitors where applicable. 

For details on what you should include in your COVID-19 risk assessment and a guide on working safely during the coronavirus pandemic, see the HSE website

An example COVID-19 risk assessment can be found on the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership website

Continued opening up of the economy is reliant on NHS Test and Trace being used to minimise transmission of the virus. Guidance on how to maintain records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace can be found on the Gov.uk website.

Guidance on the Test and Trace service in the work pace can be found on the Gov.uk website.  

Rather than create your own system, you can choose to display an official NHS QR code poster so that customers and visitors can 'check-in' using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details. You can create an Official NHS QR poster online on the Gov.uk website.

The NHS COVID-19 app, now available to download for free in England and Wales, is the fastest way to see if you're at risk from coronavirus. You can download the NHS COVID-19 app on the NHS website

If you are diversifying your business activity during this time, for example; operating a new food delivery service, selling online for the first time or perhaps manufacturing new products, advice is available on the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership website.

You may be able to apply for a temporary pavement licence if your business is considering having outdoor furniture, such as a stall or tables and chairs, or planning to extend an area of outside space that you already have a licence for.

Find out more on our Pavement Licensing page.

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Anyone with concerns about a the way a business is operating or who runs a business and would like further support, should complete the brief online form below.

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