Posted on: 17 July 2020
COVID-19 measures in the UK
Across the UK, there are currently varying measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus. For the latest COVID-19 rules, regulations and measures, visit the government website of the country that you are based.
England: The latest guidance for businesses in England can be at the UK government website.
Northern Ireland: Northern Irish businesses can find the most up to date guidance at the Northern Irish Department of Health website.
Scotland: For the latest updates for Scottish businesses, visit the Scottish government’s website.
Wales: Business based in Wales can find the most up to date information by visiting the Welsh government website.
The following article may refer to government guidelines which were in place on the date it was published.
What you need to know if there is a second wave
As the UK eases lockdown measures, allowing more businesses to reopen, public health officials have warned of a second wave of COVID-19 resulting in a new spike of COVID-19 cases. A second wave spike in cases is possible, but also avoidable if the correct measures are taken.
In this article, we will show you how you can prepare your business to minimise the impact of a second wave, or what you will need to do if a second wave hits the UK.
Reviewing government guidance
If there is a second wave of COVID-19, check the government website for updates on how they are responding to it.
Different UK regions have experienced the pandemic in different ways and will need to adapt their response to how COVID-19 is impacting the region. For example, when lockdown measures were eased in late June 2020, certain regions, such as Leicester were unable to ease measures due to a localised rise in cases.
A 5 step plan to review your risks
Even if you run a business which has been cleared to open, this doesn’t mean that your business is completely safe from COVID-19.
Use this 5 step plan to identify how coronavirus could be a risk to your business.
1. Identifying the hazards
When planning for a second wave of COVID-19, the risks will be similar to those of the initial wave where only a few selected types of businesses would be allowed to open. To identify the risks to your business, perform a walkthrough of your premises to identify where there may be risks, not only to visitors but also to your staff.
2. Determine who may be at risk
Once you have identified what the risks are to your business, you should start to consider who might be at risk, taking into account your visitors and staff, but also how COVID-19 might affect high-risk individuals, who may have pre-existing conditions that can be seriously affected by Coronavirus.
3. Assess the risk
Assessing how severe a risk can be is an important part of any risk assessment. When you have identified a risk, assess how likely it is to happen and what the consequences would be.
4. Controlling the risk
How you respond to a risk will be one of the first steps in being able to control it. Manage risks in your business in the following ways:
- Risk avoidance – Eliminate the risk completely by removing hazards and exposures or certain activities.
- Risk control – Recognise the risk and take preventative action against the threat.
Consider how coronavirus will affect your business and use one of the above methods to control the risk.
5. Monitor the risks
Once you have put your COVID-19 measures into place, make sure that you keep an eye on them to see if they are as effective as you planned.
The COVID-19 situation is constantly changing, so make sure that your measures are keeping up to date with the guidance at the time.
Maintaining your workplace safety
Keeping your workplace COVID-secure is essential in maintaining the safety of both your staff and visitors to your premises. Take a look at these ways that you can keep your business safe.
Implement safety policies
To reduce the hazard, implement clear policies and have procedures in place that everyone on your premises must abide by.
This could be an administrative policy, such as alternating staff days or extra shifts for employees to reduce the number of different people on site.
Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Stock up with PPE at your business, with items such as face masks, visors and latex gloves for your team so that they can work safely.
You should also give full training to your staff on how to use PPE and how to encourage visitors to the premises on how to use it.
Consider installing control barriers
Barriers are an effective way of protecting your staff in your business whether this is a physical barrier, such as a sneeze guard, or ventilation systems with high-efficiency air filters that cleans the air.
Screen employees on entry
To determine if any member of your team potentially has the virus, you can test their temperature before allowing them to enter the business, as long as this is done without discrimination. You should make your team aware that you may need to monitor their temperature before surprising them with a temperature test.
Prepare to adapt
Your business activities may need to change to respond to measures to prevent COVID-19 from coming back. This could involve temporarily suspending operations, using different suppliers or changing hours of operation, but being able to adapt to change will help you if there is a second wave.
Keep an open dialogue
Keeping in touch with customers, colleagues and suppliers to tell them your plans to respond to a second wave will also help them prepare their plans for a second wave.
Encourage social distancing
So far, social distancing has been one of the most effective methods of keeping the virus from spreading. Social distancing means standing at least 2 metres apart from anyone not in the same household as you.
Encourage social distancing at your business by attending meetings virtually, limiting the number of people who will be on your premises at any one time and discourage people from shaking hands.
Encourage home working
If possible, your colleagues should be working from home to avoid coming into contact with others and potentially spreading the virus.
Regular cleaning of surfaces and hands has proven to be an effective way of killing the virus. Keeping your business premises clean is one of the most effective ways of preventing a second wave of COVID-19.
You can also install safety measures such as no-touch bins and soap or sanitiser dispensers so that others can easily keep the premises safe.
Keep an eye of legislation
In July 2020, the government announced that they will be making face coverings in retail businesses a mandatory requirement from 24th July. If a second wave of COVID-19 is starting to become a threat, the government will likely put further legislative measures in place to help prevent a second wave.
Keep up to date with government legislation regarding coronavirus on the government website.
COVID-19 business guidance
For further guidance on how you can keep yourself and your business healthy as COVID-19 continues to be a threat, take a look at some of our articles by following these links:
- What is Phase Three of the UK Government’s COVID-19 plan?
- Commuting to work whilst COVID-19 is still a threat
- Reopening your salon based business after the coronavirus lockdown
- COVID-19: What if working 2 metres apart isn’t possible
- Creating a return to work action plan
- What support is available for businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?
Business insurance with Premierline
It’s important to make sure that you have the right insurance in place to protect the business that you have built.
Every business is different and has its own business insurance needs, which is why we work with some of the UK’s most well-known insurers to make sure that you are getting the right insurance cover for your business.
To help you and your business during these unprecedented circumstances, Premierline has taken steps to ensure that we can continue to offer our award-winning service.
Source: Zywave Inc – Risk Insights – Preparing for a Second Wave of COVID-19 Cases
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