Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Council Leader's guide to spotting Covid-secure venues

Friday, 25 September 2020

Following stark warnings from the Chief Medical Officer and Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor that we face at least six more months of COVID-19 restrictions.

Councillor James Jamieson, Leader of Central Bedfordshire Council said: 

The scientists couldn’t have been clearer that slowing the current rates of COVID-19 infection is an issue for everyone and everyone has his or her part to play otherwise we risk the virus spirally out of control.

But equally they were both clear that there is a balance to be struck between locking down completely and the economy collapsing. So, I want to share a guide prepared by our environmental health team on what customers should look out for and expect from good businesses who care about their customers.

Sadly we have had numerous reports about businesses who don’t follow the rules and we are taking enforcement action including prosecution.

But residents can also play their part by simply refusing to spend their money with a business that puts profit before health.

All businesses that deal with the public face to face have had to take customer contact details, by law, since Friday 18 September for NHS Test and Trace. And from Thursday 24 September good businesses will also need to display the COVID-19 App QR code.

But there are other measures businesses must be taking to keep their customers and everybody else as safe as possible.

So here is what to look out for, primarily in pubs, restaurants and cafes but the measures like screens and cleaning should be at the heart of every business during COVID-19.

Supporting test and trace

Is it recording customer details for test and trace? This must include the NHS QR code from Thursday 24 September.

Social distancing

  • has it introduced (where possible) a booking system? Or is controlling customer numbers at the door?
  • has it measures to socially distance any queue?
  • has it introduced no service at the bar/counter with food and drink brought to customers’ tables only? Customers must be seated while eating and drinking

Avoiding close contact with staff

  • are staff wearing visors/face coverings when close to customers i.e. while serving food?
  • are customers wearing them except when eating and drinking?
  • have they introduced automatic ordering of food and drinks via a downloaded smart phone app – where possible!

Hand washing and cleaning

  • are there facilities for increased handwashing and/or hand sanitiser at key points especially at the entrance?
  • is there regular cleaning of surfaces? Such as cleaning the table and chairs between customer use in a restaurant.