Hygiene advice for pubs to avoid Covid-19

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Keeping safe: advice on how to keep businesses clean and hygienic has been issued
Keeping safe: advice on how to keep businesses clean and hygienic has been issued

Related tags Coronavirus Pubs

The Government and hygiene experts have released advice on how operators can stay safe and clean to avoid the spread of coronavirus.

The Government has said that, based on current evidence, the main symptoms of Covid-19 are a cough, a high temperature and, in severe cases, a shortness of breath.

At the time of publication, the UK had 382 confirmed cases of coronavirus with six deaths.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson laid out how the Government is tackling the spread of the virus and urged people to continue washing their hands frequently.

He said: “The plan has four strands. Containing the virus, delaying its spread, researching its origins and cure, and finally, mitigating the impact should the virus become more widespread.

“It is highly likely we will see a growing number of UK cases and that’s why keeping the country safe is the Government’s overriding priority.

“Our plan means we are committed to doing everything possible, based on the advice of our world-leading scientific experts to prepare for all eventualities.

“Crucially, we must not forget what we can all do to fight this virus, which is to wash our hands.

“You knew it was going to say this but wash our hands with soap and water and forgive me for repeating this but… wash your hands with soap and water for the length of time it takes to sing Happy Birthday​ twice.

“It’s simply advice but it’s the single most important thing we can do as our experts would attest. But… I want to stress that for the vast majority of people of this country, we should be going about our business as usual.”

Government advice

The Government has advised if a member of staff has not visited specified areas in the past 14 days, normal practice should continue.

If someone becomes unwell in the workplace and has travelled to China or other affected countries, the unwell person should be removed to an area at least two metres away from other people.

If possible, find a room or area where they can be isolated behind a closed door, such as a staff office and if possible, open a window for ventilation.

The person who is unwell should call NHS 111 from their mobile or 999 if it is an emergency (if they are seriously ill or their life is at risk) and explain which country they have returned from in the past 14 days and outline their current symptoms.

While they wait for advice from NHS 111 or an ambulance to arrive, they should remain at least two metres from other people.

They should avoid touching people, surfaces and objects and be advised to cover their mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when they cough or sneeze and put the tissue in a bag or pocket then throw the tissue in the bin.

If they don’t have any tissues available, they should cough and sneeze into the crook of their elbow. If they need to go to the bathroom while waiting for medical assistance, they should use a separate bathroom if available.

While the Government said there are no restrictions or special measures in place if a member of staff or public with suspected Covid-19 has recently been in the pub, there are measures in place to deal with people who have a confirmed case of the virus, or for those who have been in contact them.

It said closure of a premises is not recommended and the management team of the pub will be contacted by the Public Health England (PHE) local health protection team to discuss the case, identify people who have been in contact with them and advise on any actions or precautions should be taken.

Risk assessment

A risk assessment of each setting will be undertaken by the health protection team with the lead responsible person.

Advice on the management of staff and members of the public will be based on this assessment. The health protection team will also be in contact with the case directly to advise on isolation and identifying other contacts and will be in touch with any contacts of the case to provide them with appropriate advice.

Advice on cleaning of communal areas such as offices or toilets will be given by the health protection team.

If a confirmed case is identified in the workplace, the local health protection team will provide relevant staff with advice.

These staff include those in close face-to-face or touching contact; talking with or being coughed on for any length of time while the employee was showing symptoms; anyone who has cleaned any bodily fluids; close friendship groups or work groups; and any employee living in the same household as a confirmed case.

Trade body UKHospitality has released advice on how staff can protect themselves. This included to remember the routes of transmission and take precautions at key moments.

Hand washing should be undertaken on arrival at work, entering the kitchen, after clearing a table, after touching anything guests may have contaminated, after touching hand-contact surfaces such as handrails and door handles, after using the toilet or entering toilet areas, after cleaning, after cleaning hotel rooms and touching bedding and towels, and after doing any laundry.

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