Guidance for Island businesses as lockdown measures are eased

The Isle of Wight Council continues to offer guidance and support to lsland businesses as lockdown measures are eased.

As the government looks to restart the economy, the council’s regulatory teams are working hard to support Island employers get their businesses back up and running and workplaces operating as safely as possible.

Amanda Gregory, the council’s strategic manager for regulatory and community safety services, said: “Our teams have been incredibly busy throughout the coronavirus crisis, handling more than 200 enquiries and complaints.

“Now, as we move towards a new normal, we are keen to support businesses and advise on how best they can ensure they are Covid-secure.

“It’s not just about queues but about what the businesses need to put in place to ensure customer and staff safety.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to start trading again from 1 June – so long as they keep customers safe.

All other non-essential retailers – including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, plus tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets – can follow suit two weeks later, from 15 June.

Employers will face “spot checks” to make sure they are implementing social distancing, and have been told they must complete a risk assessment after consultation with trade unions and workers.

The government has already published practical guidelines to make workplaces as safe as possible and give people confidence to go back to work during the pandemic.

The guidance includes five key steps to working safely which local businesses are urged to follow:

  • Carry out a Covid-19 risk assessment.
  • Develop cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures.
  • Help people to work from home, where possible.
  • Maintain two metre social distancing, where possible.
  • Where people cannot be 2m apart, manage transmission risk.

Councillor Gary Peace, Cabinet member for community safety and public protection, said: “Being ‘Covid-secure’ will become the test that businesses will need to meet, and we will be doing all we can to ensure Island businesses meet those requirements and ensure our community are kept safe.”

For further information, visit the government website, Working Safely during Coronavirus.

Advice and guidance is also available on the council’s website.

People can also email or call (01983) 823000 for further support or clarification.