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Reopening pubs after COVID-19

Are you ready to open your doors once more?

The reopening of pubs

Following the announcement made by the Prime Minister on the 22nd of February, the long-awaited plans to ease the latest lockdown have been revealed. Pubs and restaurants can reopen their outdoor seating from 12th April, with indoor service permitted from 17th May. However, there will still be social distancing measures in place and only two households will be allowed to mix indoors in groups of six or less. The 21st June deadline will see all legal limits on social contact removed, meaning people from different households can mix indoors and outdoors in pubs and restaurants.

Now that we have these clear dates set out ahead of us, there’s plenty of planning and preparation to get through in a relatively short amount of time. With all the new COVID-19 rules to follow in pubs, it’s important to also remember the underlying basics in ensuring health and safety compliance. Getting your team up to speed with the new regulations and familiar with the old ones will be essential to a smooth transition back to normality.

Health and safety compliance in pubs

For many, the main focus will be on ensuring that all the new COVID-19 workplace guidelines are being followed. But after months of being in lockdown, pub and restaurant owners will have to make sure their properties still have their basic health and safety measures in place. A story hit the headlines this week of a pub being fined £130,000 after a fire broke out, which was caused by insufficient health and safety measures. While you can’t always prevent accidents from happening, you can ensure that you’re compliant with health and safety measures that minimise the chance of emergencies like this.

If you’re reopening a restaurant or pub after lockdown, here are a few key areas you should be sure to cover in advance.

Fire safety

Pubs and restaurants are likely to attract large numbers of people who will be excited to enjoy the hospitality industry after such a long wait. Your team will have to be up-to-date with their fire safety awareness and well-drilled in practical exercises such as using a fire extinguisher or fire safety evacuation chair. It would also be important to conduct a thorough risk assessment and run practice fire evacuation drills prior to reopening.

Health and safety

Health and safety regulations have become more important than ever in the effort to prevent unnecessary injuries that could take up valuable NHS resources. With lockdown restrictions lifting, this focus on being safe in the workplace won’t change. For pubs and restaurants, ensuring your staff are compliant with basic health and safety measures will minimise the chance of accidents happening on your premises. It also means your team will feel prepared and ready to tackle the new COVID-19 regulations with more confidence.

Infection control

It goes without saying that infection control in pubs and restaurants is going to be of paramount importance. Preventing the spread of disease is top of everyone’s priority list. That is the only way to ensure the recent lockdown is the last. This means implementing basic infection control procedures such as making sure tables, chairs and other high-contact surfaces are regularly cleaned. It also means taking measures to minimise contact, such as one-way systems, contactless payments and keeping tables separate. We have updated our infection control training session to include coronavirus emergency regulations, so your team will be receiving the most relevant and up-to-date training.

Restaurants and food-serving establishments

For restaurant owners, reopening after COVID-19 will present a whole new list of challenges. Serving drinks is one thing, but for customers to feel safe eating food that has been prepared by others, strict compliance with food hygiene regulations is crucial. Food safety in pubs and restaurants has always been essential because it prevents the spread of foodborne illnesses. At a time where everyone is more aware of bacteria, germs and disease than ever before, every measure must be taken to settle fears and encourage customers to eat in restaurants.

Are you ready to reopen after COVID-19?

It’s been so long since we’ve experienced ‘normal’ life that the thought of going back to it seems slightly daunting (while at the same time pretty exciting!). We just have to make sure we do everything we can to ensure health and safety by following both old and new guidelines.

Here at Vital Workplace Training, we can make sure your team is ready and prepared to confidently return to work in a post-COVID-19 world. With over fifty workplace training sessions on offer, our experience and database of course materials allow us to provide you with versatile and robust training sessions. Whether you own a small, family-run pub or a restaurant that seats over a hundred, we can train your team to confidently reopen after COVID-19.

For more information on how we’ve responded to the pandemic, take a look at our COVID-19 support hub. To find out more about any of our individual courses and how we can customise an online or essential in-person training session to meet your needs, contact us today and speak to our team.

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