A change in the law bans groups of 6 or more people meeting indoors or outdoors socially – we explore what that means from a business perspective.
The Government's Policy
Due to a steep increase in positive COVID-19 cases, the government has announced that from the 14th September social gatherings above 6 people will be banned in England.
The new rule however excludes:
- COVID-19 secure weddings and funerals
- Organised team sports
What does it mean to businesses
This means that businesses do not have to reduce their staff to 6 or fewer people and can continue to operate as they have been doing prior to the announcement. In order to protect their employees and customers, however, some businesses may wish to use this rule change as an opportunity to re-evaluate their virus mitigation systems and insist on more stringent practices. It is worth remembering that while the law is partly being introduced to give the police greater powers, it is also introduced to stop the worrying rise in Coronavirus cases.
We outline some ways businesses may wish to revaluate their workplaces in light of the new ruling.
1. Limit the number of people in a store
In alignment with the new ruling, small business owners may wish to limit their capacity to 6 people. If you are reducing the capacity of your store, you may need to extend your queue management system to ensure customers can social distance comfortably while waiting to enter your shop.
The new regulations will naturally put increased pressure on the hospitality industry. Care will need to be taken with any group bookings.
2. Enforce face masks
Many businesses are asking employees to wear face masks at their own discretion and have not officially made face masks compulsory. According to the government, 'Face coverings are not required by law for employees, as employers already have a legal obligation to provide a safe working environment'. Employers may now wish to consider officially asking employees to wear face masks and providing high-quality face masks for their employees to use. We offer plenty of advice on the subject.
3. Enhance PPE & Hygiene Precautions
If cases are beginning to rise once again, it is important you also raise the level of your workplace hygiene and PPE. For example, you may wish to request that all employees dealing with customers wear visors, or ask employees to sanitise their hands more frequently, for example every 30 minutes rather than every hour. This will ensure that even if cases continue to rise, that the protection you are providing for your employees increases also.
Here to help
If you need any help or guidance navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, check out our virus mitigation catalogue. We can help you keep your employees and customers safe during the pandemic.