From Saturday 4th July 2020, some businesses in the visitor economy, leisure and hospitality sectors in England can begin to open their doors to the public again, with many others expecting an update later on in the summer. The latest update lifts restrictions placed on hairdressers, pubs, restaurants and hotels, and indoor and outdoor attractions to mention just a few.
These huge updates can be a lot to take in. So, in this blog, we’ll briefly summarise who can open, what measures need to be in place and how you can make sure you’re ready to re-open on the 4th July.
Who Can Open on 4th July?
According to the latest government advice, the following businesses in England can open with social distancing and other safety measures (which we’ll get to later!) in place on the 4th July:
- Pubs, bars and restaurants but only with a table service indoors, and owners will be asked to keep contact details of customers to help with contact tracing
- Hotels, holiday apartments, campsites and caravan parks but shared facilities must be cleaned properly
- Theatres and music halls but they will not be allowed to hold live performances
- Weddings will be allowed to have 30 attendees, and places of worship will be allowed to hold services but singing will be banned
- Hair salons and barbers will be able to reopen but must have protective measures, such as visors, in place
- Libraries, community centres and bingo halls
- Cinemas, museums and galleries
- Funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks, amusement arcades, outdoor skating rinks and model villages
- Indoor attractions where animals are exhibited, such as at zoos, aquariums, farms, safari parks and wildlife centres
Which Businesses Are Still Closed?
Although this means that many businesses in England will be set to re-open shortly, there are still a number of venues that will remain closed by law, including:
- Indoor play areas
- Nail bars and beauty salons
- Swimming pools and indoor gyms
What Measure Should I Put in Place to Comply with the Latest Guidance?
As well as making sure your team are socially distanced, you’ll also need to plan how you’re going to keep a distance of 1 metre plus* between your customers, which is the new change to the guidelines outlined in the Prime Minister’s latest announcement. If you can't, it's recommended that you use a face covering, like a sneeze guard or face visor for staff in direct contact with customers like hairdressers as an extra protective measure.
This may involve looking at congestion points, queueing areas and other areas of your business with high crowd density and marking out safe distances with floor tape. Creating a one-way system with signs or floor stickers, limiting the number of people inside your venue at one time with an outside waiting area using an A-frame or using pre-booked appointments are excellent ways of making sure you can follow social distancing.
You should remind visitors with children that it is their responsibility to make sure their children are following social distancing advice.
*1 metre plus: if it’s not possible to keep a 2-metre distance, you can now reduce social distancing to 1 metre instead.
Work with the Local Authorities
Some of the processes you put in place, like outdoor queueing areas in public areas might have an impact on health and safety, like fire escapes, or on public parking facilities. Work with the local authorities and your landlord (if applicable) to set up these kinds of processes in a way that won’t affect these areas.
It’s also a good idea to work with other local businesses alongside the local authorities, for example staggering opening times so customers aren’t arriving at both businesses at once where it would be unsafe to do so.
Use Drop Off and Collection Points
For activities that involve passing objects around, consider setting up drop off and collection points to avoid passing items hand-to-hand. Limiting contact is a great way to ensure your business is COVID-secure.
Changing Facilities & Toilets
If your business offers changing facilities or toilets for customers to use, there are a couple of things you’ll need to keep in mind:
- Clear guidance on how to use and clean the facilities
- Ensure they are kept clean and clear of personal items
- Where possible, safe ventilation should be increased
- Social distancing should be achieved as much as possible
Using posters or signs with the WHO hand washing guide in your changing facilities or toilets is a great way to ensure you've given customers all the information they need to keep themselves and those around them safe.
Mix of Services
If you provide a mix of services, such as a hair salon that offers nail and beauty services, you’ll only be able to run the services that are legally allowed to be running. Using the same example, you’d be able to run your business purely as a hair salon without offering nail or beauty services.
Make Reasonable Adjustments
If you’re planning on creating a one-way flow or changing exit and entrance points in your venue, you’ll need to make sure that it’s accessible to all. This might involve making sure you add ramps to exits and entrances and that the doors are wide enough for wheelchair users to gain access through.
Test and Trace
The opening up of the economy is supported by NHS Test and Trace. This gives the NHS information to let people know if they have been in contact with someone carrying Coronavirus and can help the government to contain clusters or outbreaks.
The government recommend that you should keep a temporary record of your customers and/or visitors for 21 days. Many businesses that take bookies already have systems to record this information – if you don’t already do this, now’s the perfect time to start!
Limit Aerosol Transmissions
Your venue should not allow for indoor performances in front of a live audience. Aerosol transmissions from either the performer or those in the audience can carry the disease, meaning singing or talking loudly can increase the risk of infection.
Similarly, your venue should not encourage singing, chanting, shouting or conversing loudly, even if social distancing is in place. In environments where you raise your voice, this again increases the risk of airborne transmissions. To do this, refrain from playing music that may encourage singing along or shouting if conversation can’t take place at a normal volume.
You should also take steps to prevent other close contact, for example using dance floor space for tables and chairs will prevent people from dancing – and therefore coming in close contact with others outside their household – in your venue.
If you're a pub or restaurant, adding a laminated finish to your menus makes them wipeable after every use, which is another way to reduce the risks caused by aerosol transmissions. Similarly, any posters letting customers know the new safety policies should be printed on PVC (also a wipeable stock) for extra cleanliness.
Get Ready to Re-Open with Print!
Now that you’ve got a better idea of who can open on 4th July and how, there’s no time like the present for getting everything you need to re-open safely. Check out our full range of safety signage, plus free design templates created with the latest government advice in mind here.
For more information, including extensive guides for close contact services (e.g. hairdressers), hotels, restaurants, heritage locations and more, please see the full official guidance from the government here.