Reopening and adapting your business
West Lancashire Borough Council would like to help local businesses stay safe. The government pages on keeping your workplace safe can be found here (external).
To help businesses understand their responsibilities, we have created some helpful guides for specific sectors:
- Guidance for Hospitality (Pubs, Restaurants, Cafes etc.)
- Guidance for Close Contact Services (Hairdressers, Barbers, Beauty etc.)
- Guidance for Gyms and Leisure
If you have any questions or you would like further support or advice on re-opening or safe operation of your business or community facility, please contact the Environmental Health Team on EnvHealth.Admin@westlancs.gov.uk or 01695 577177. The Team is also able to offer some free advice visits at the moment so please get in touch early if you would like to take up this offer.
Hospitality and Leisure Sector
'We're good to go' – Visit Britain's UK-wide consumer mark
The ‘We’re Good To Go’ mark means businesses across the tourism sector can demonstrate that they are adhering to the respective Government and public health guidance, have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and check they have the required processes in place.
The scheme is free to join and open to all businesses who open to visitors, such as accommodation, attractions, hospitality and retailers.
To obtain the mark businesses must complete a self-assessment through the We're Good to Go online platform (external link)
Once received the ‘We’re Good To Go’ mark can be for displayed in their premises and online to reassure customers an visitors of your commitment to keeping them safe.
Advice: COVID-19 advice to food businesses
The Council understands that businesses may look to change their business model and diversify in order to maintain their business during this time. We have prepared a guide (PDF, 254Kb) for businesses that are looking to make provision for food takeaways and deliveries where they have not done so before.
Further advice is also available from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (external link).
The Food Standards Agency has also produced a general guide for food businesses at COVID-19: guidance for food businesses (external link).
Advice: COVID-19 changes to licensing services
Significant changes have been made to the Council's licensing services in response to the outbreak. Where possible, relaxations have been introduced to support local business whilst maintaining safeguards. Where applications are still being processed, all parties are encouraged to submit applications and supporting information electronically to avoid potential delay.
We have prepared a summary (PDF, 655Kb) of the implications for all licences to assist applicants, licence holders and interested parties. More information can be obtained from the licensing pages on our website or from Licensing Service at 01695 585015 or email@example.com
NHS Test and Trace
Organisations in certain sectors should collect details and maintain records of staff, customers and visitors on their premises to support NHS Test and Trace. You should assist this service by keeping a temporary record of your customers and visitors for 21 days, in a way that is manageable for your organisation, and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed. This could help contain clusters or outbreaks.
- Guidance on maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace (external link)
Create a coronavirus NHS QR code for your venue
If you do not already have a track and trace app to monitor people who visit your business you can use the Create a coronavirus NHS QR code service to create a QR code for display in your venue.
Create Coronavirus NHS QR Code Here (external link)
To create a coronavirus NHS QR code you will need your email address and the address of your business. You’ll receive your QR code poster by email soon after you have submitted your information and ask visitors to scan the QR code when they arrive, using their NHS COVID-19 app.
Reduced Rate of VAT
The government made an announcement on 8 July 2020 allowing VAT registered businesses to apply a temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT to certain supplies relating to:
- hotel and holiday accommodation
- admissions to certain attractions
Initially, the temporary reduced rate will apply to supplies that are made between 15 July 2020 and 12 January 2021 but it was announced on September 24 that this was would remain in place until 31 March 2021. For more information please visit VAT: reduced rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions (external link).
Community Centre and Multi-purpose Community Facilities
The Government have released guidance to assist those managing community centres, village halls and other community facilities on safely re-opening multi-purpose buildings.
Community centres, village halls, and other multi-use community facilities support a wide range of local activity. However, their communal nature also makes them places that are vulnerable to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities (external link)
Legionella risks during the coronavirus outbreak
Employers, the self-employed and people in control of premises, such as landlords, have a duty to identify and control risks associated with legionella. If your building was closed or has reduced occupancy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, water system stagnation can occur due to lack of use, increasing the risks of Legionnaires’ disease.
The Health and Safety Executive website (external link) has some helpful advice on how to identify and control risks associated with legionella.