What is this?
This action card relates to the measures retail premises must take, by law, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Those responsible for these businesses are required to take reasonable measures to minimise the risk of people being exposed to coronavirus, and spreading the virus, at their premises.
As a basis for deciding what measures should be taken, they must also carry out a specific assessment of the risk posed by the coronavirus.
The Action Card highlights risks generally associated with these venues and considers what reasonable measures could to be taken to mitigate those risks.
This is not an exhaustive list and other reasonable measures not referred to below may be appropriate.
If you have questions or concerns please seek advice from your local authority’s environmental health department as soon as possible. Please be aware and respectful of the fact that their role is to ensure that appropriate reasonable measures are taken so that your venue can operate as safely as possible. However, it is not their role to approve your risk assessment.
The risks associated with close contact venues could vary significantly depending on the premises and type of services provided. There is an increased risk of working closely with others so it is important that businesses and practitioners appreciate that the pandemic is not over.
While risks will vary from venue to venue, and will depend on the activities being undertaken at the venue and the number of people present, the following risks will be typical:
- the nature of close contact services will mean that physical distancing will not be possible at all times;
- staff may be face-to-face with customers and will be in close proximity when carrying out services, which represents a very high risk should either person be infectious.
- customers and staff being indoors for prolonged periods of time.
What reasonable measures should I consider taking to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus?
While it is unlikely to be possible to mitigate the risks completely in all premises, some measures are reasonable to take, so must be taken.
You should consider whether the following measures are reasonable to take. The measures you take should be informed by your assessment of the risk of coronavirus spreading at your premises and tailored to your specific circumstances. The Welsh Government has produced a standard template for coronavirus risk assessments, and there are is further information available to support you provided by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Reduce the chance of coronavirus being present
- Requiring staff and (where feasible) customers to take a test before services are provided.
- Requiring staff and (where feasible) customers to show that they have been vaccinated before services are provided.
- Asking customers if they have been vaccinated, have recently been tested or if they have COVID-19 symptoms before services are provided.
- Informing customers and staff that anyone who is symptomatic, has tested positive, is awaiting a test result or has been advised to self-isolate by NHS Wales Test Trace Protect, may not receive the service.
The best way of preventing spread of coronavirus when a close contact service is provided is to reduce the risk of the virus being present when the service is provided.
Use Personal Protective Equipment, face coverings and screens
- Practitioners wearing face mask and full face visor or goggles when undertaking treatment. These should be changed or cleaned between clients.
- Practitioners wearing disposable gloves and aprons when undertaking treatment. These should be changed and disposed of, or cleaned (when non–disposable) between clients.
- Providing clients with face coverings and disposable gowns as appropriate. These should be changed and disposed of after use.
- Avoiding undertaking certain treatments or minimising the time spent undertaking them where face coverings can’t be worn by the customer due to a medical exemption or where face or eye protection can’t be worn by the practitioner for safety reasons.
- Helping to ensure that people present comply with their legal obligation to wear a face covering (while waiting).
- Erecting screens between work stations and at the reception desk (in particular where physical distancing is not possible).
Keep your premises clean
- Cleaning workstations, including equipment and furnishings, between clients.
- Replacing towels after use.
- Thorough and regular cleaning using disinfectant in high footfall areas and in high contact touchpoints such as counter tops, tables and door handles.
- Placing hand sanitisers in multiple locations, particularly at entry points and elsewhere at key touchpoints, and providing automated soap dispensers, water and paper towels in washrooms.
- Cleaning till points between staff using appropriate cleaning products and use card or App payments only
- Facilitating regular handwashing breaks.
Work outdoors or improve ventilation
- Where it is practical to do so, working outside instead of inside.
- Enhancing airflow by opening windows and propping open internal doors (but not fire doors) where possible.
- If there is a lack of natural ventilation, ensuring mechanical ventilation systems provide 100% fresh air and do not recirculate air from one space to another.
- Making sure mechanical ventilation systems are effectively maintained and have been serviced.
Keep your distance where you can
- Maintaining physical distancing between staff and clients, and distance between work stations.
Look after your staff
- Implementing systems to minimise contacts between staff. For example, stagger staff shifts, break times and deliveries; set a maximum number for kitchens, staff rooms, changing rooms and areas such as smoking shelters.
- Providing staff with face coverings or other PPE.
- Facilitating (and not preventing) members of staff that test positive from self-isolating, as required by law.
Help Test, Trace, Protect (TTP)
- Understanding the role of the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect system has in monitoring and controlling the virus.
- Retain client details, including the name of the practitioner for each client, to support the NHS Wales TTP Service.
You have a legal obligation to provide information to those receiving your services about how to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus. This includes, in particular, information to all those present about their risk of exposure to coronavirus identified in the risk assessment and the measures to be taken to minimise this risk.
This could include announcements, clear signage (e.g. signs, floor tape or paint) for limits on the number people present in a particular area or room, queuing systems and one way systems.