COVID-19 - Business Update 16/04/2021

Latest business update for Southend businesses.

The Roadmap to Recovery took another step forward this week with non-essential retail and some hospitality coming back to life. We continue to look forward to a summer with fewer restrictions, which is great news. To ensure that we to keep managing COVID-19 and continue reopen successfully and safely there are a few things to bear in mind.

  • Remember hands – face – space – fresh air
  • Keep up to date with the latest information
  • Encourage your staff to test regularly and take up the vaccine when offered
  • Report COVID-19 positive cases from your workplace to the council as soon as you are aware of them
  • Consider and manage the risk of your business reopening

Roadmap to recovery – reopening safely

To support outbreak management, some businesses must comply with the Collection of Contact Details Regulations which requires display of a NHS QR code poster and request that customers and visitors check in to your premises.  More information can be found on here.  If you have a confirmed COVID-19 case within your business, please refer to the Guidanceand Action Cardfor your sector and contact the Health Protection Team on 01702 212497 or email providecommunityaction@southend.gov.uk.

Guidance for sports settings has been released covering the safe provision of team sport, contact combat sport and organised sport events.

Updated safety guidance for close contact, hospitality and non-essential services is available.  It includes additional information for different sectors on how coronavirus restrictions will be eased.

Updated  working safely guidance for hospitality services. It now includes information on managing customer payments. It clarifies that, at venues serving alcohol, payment should be taken at the table or at another outdoor location. If it is not possible to take payment outdoors, for example due to a technical issue, payment can be taken indoors as a last resort.

Working safely guidance has been updated in the following areas:

Information about events organisation has been updated and can be found here.

We strongly encourage all businesses, voluntary and community settings to complete and update Health & Safety Executive COVID-19 risk assessments. Assessments will help you:

  • Identify what work activity or situations might cause transmission of the virus
  • Think about who could be at risk
  • Decide how likely it is that someone could be exposed
  • Act to remove the activity or situation, or if this isn’t possible, control the risk

You might also seek additional guidance from a trade body, membership or sector leading organisation such as the CITB or UK Hospitality.

Testing

Regular weekly testing for everyone leaving home for work is a way of controlling COVID-19. Testing is available at one of the Southend drop-in Lateral Flow Device (LFD) testing sites - please check here for the latest information.  LDF test centre locations will change over the coming weeks and months as various community spaces resume their usual functions, so make sure you check the website before setting off for your test.

Financial Support

Restart Grants are now available to support non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care, and gym businesses in England. This support will take the form of a one-off grant funding scheme in Financial Year 2021-2022. Information about Restart Grants and other COVID-19 Grants available through the council can he found here.

If you have questions about grants available, please direct them to the business rates team at the council. If you need to discuss your ongoing grant application and it has been 10 days or more since your submission, please call 01702 215001 or email businessrates@southend.gov.uk.

Self-Employment income support scheme guidance is updated with information about the fourth SEISS grant.

Travelling for work

Travel exemptions affecting some businesses have changed and you can find out more here.

More information & staying up to date

Information and guidance on COVID-19 changes regularly and it can be difficult to keep up – there are four excellent ways of staying on top of the latest announcements and getting new information about doing business in Southend.

The council’s COVID-19 advice pages for businesses are regularly updated with new advice and guidance from central government.

You can also check out the latest announcements from central government including the latest advice about reopening.

To receive a monthly newsletter with useful information including support available for businesses throughout COVID-19 recovery and beyond, email economicd@southend.gov.uk and ask to be included on the Southend Business Partnership newsletter.

A number of "Community Connectors" are currently helping pass on or signpost people to facts and support about the pandemic. Could this be you? Southend on Sea Borough Council, SAVS and partner organisations are reaching out to those who already share information in their community and could help this way. If you could help, please see this page for more info: http://orlo.uk/1YZJv

 

Published: 19th April 2021