The government guidance currently covers takeaway services as hospitality venues including restaurants (save for takeaway), pubs, clubs, hotels and leisure centres remain closed. There is possible reopening in July 2020 dependent on the R rate. Plans are underway as to how such venues may operate but the use of screens between tables, limited restaurant covers, reduced staff and customer capacity in all venues with extra cleaning are being considered. The mantra of being at least 2 metres apart from others save from the same household remains and taped markings on floors have been effective to provide order and distancing without human ‘guesswork’.
The current guidance covers takeaway services and the key points to be constantly aware of, to plan and to implement are :
There should be a COVID-19 risk assessment for venues with 5 or more workers with review of the layout and operation of each venue to confirm how distancing can work. Vulnerable workers should remain at home. If that is not possible they should work in the safest possible role. This may be working alone in a kitchen without contact .
All venues should ensure there is signage with clear instructions on how supplies are delivered to them, how customers may collect food and drink and how an order will be delivered with online services and payment. Cash payments are not recommended.
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease which isn’t transmitted by exposure to food or packaging but kitchens will often need to be staffed by several people. Workstations should be fixed if possible with staggered shifts consisting of the same individuals to avoid contact with too wide a range of people.
Cleaning and ventilation are key – wedge doors open, clean laminated menus and dispose of paper menus, use of more bins, more frequent refuge collections and provision of towels and overalls to be effectively washed. Hand wash must be used between customers.
PPE as usually demanded by a role stays and this may involve the use of face coverings in any event. If not part of the usual role use is optional. If worn they must fit properly and be applied with hand washing before application and following removal. As coverings must be changed if they become damp or the wearer touches the mask this could be prohibitive in a busy shift.