The COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest threat the hospitality industry has faced in a generation. Adapting, planning and preparing have never been more crucial.
The recent introduction of tiered alert systems, fire breakers, lockdowns and circuit breakers across the UK and Ireland mean that thousands of hospitality businesses will need to adapt to the new changes, or potentially pivot to stay open, while others will have to stop trading temporarily.
With more businesses affected each week, and potentially further restrictions on the horizon, there will be many necessary actions required to protect your business. Whether you need to close your business provisionally, to diversify your services or to prepare for when your business can start trading again, this needs to be done in a robust, safe manner.
Whether you are in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Ireland, at some point, your business may need to consider one or a mix of the following adaptations:
- Adapting to the current restrictions
- Changing to a more food orientated establishment
- Changing to a takeaway
- Shutting down
Each comes with its own challenges and these shouldn’t be underestimated. The current guidance from the UK and Irish governments puts the onus on the business to reduce its Covid risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level by taking preventative measures.
So, while from the outside closing, switching and/or reopening a site may seem simple, there are many safety requirements to consider to ensure that your business complies. Also in the rush to comply with government guidance on Covid, businesses shouldn’t forget their legal Food Safety, Fire Safety and Health & Safety legislation obligations.
As you set about making any changes, these requirements should be front of mind, running parallel with your Covid-safety measures. In missing these elements, a business that complies with Covid-guidance could be temporarily closed or fined because it doesn’t comply with other regulations.
While there’s a lot to consider, whichever way you choose to adapt your business, by getting the best advice, taking the right steps and putting the correct measures in place, you can safeguard your business, ensuring it stays compliant and ultimately continues to trade.