Where to begin
Introduction to Safely Re-activating Businesses
Our Reactivate, Recover, Revive guidance is designed to offer a comprehensive guide to recovery and transformation. It is intended to be a living guide that will be updated in real time as UK Government and public health guidance evolves. The risk of localised spikes of coronavirus coupled with the implementation of national restrictions that affect the population as a whole mean that our Reactivate, Recover, Revive will become a cycle that we have to adjust to as the pandemic evolves.
In addition, we welcome input and sharing of thoughts, plans and best practice advice from our members across all business sectors so we can tailor future updates of this guidance with real time learnings and understandings.
Over the course of the pandemic, businesses have had to react quickly. When the UK passed the crisis phase of the first peak of the covid-19 pandemic, the focus for many shifted toward reactivating their workplaces and embarking their organisations on the road to recovery, however with two national lockdowns in 2020 and a third at the beginning of 2021, business recovery plans were in constant flux.
The Fitzrovia Partnership membership is a broad mix of business operating in a range of workplace environments and we are uniquely positioned to be working in partnership with employees at all levels within Fitzrovia workplaces, from strategic, to tactical to operational.
Our team have been working hard in the background during the crisis and reactivation phases to research, collate and deliver key business information to our members that is relevant and timely.
That said, business needs to be well equipped to respond to the risk of change to the workplace environment. We are currently in a situation where the vaccination programme is going well in the UK, and the roadmap announced by the Government in March 2021 is being rolled out.
This website will provide you with all the information you need to help your business reactivate, recover, revive and prosper in Fitzrovia.
The Roadmap out of Lockdown
On 8 March 2021, the first stages of the Government’s roadmap came into effect. All the following stages are dependent on four conditions being met:
1.The vaccine programme continues to go to plan
2.Vaccines are sufficiently reducing the number of people dying with the virus or needing hospital treatment
3. Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospital admissions
4. New variants of the virus do not fundamentally change the risk of lifting restrictions
Supporting NHS Test and Trace
Objective: To support NHS Test and Trace
Continued opening up of the economy is reliant on NHS Test and Trace being used to minimise transmission of the virus.
Where businesses are permitted to open, you must:
- Ask 1 member of every party who visits your premises to provide their contact details to assist NHS Test and Trace. Refuse entry to those who refuse to provide contact details.
- Have a system in place to ensure that you can collect that information from your customers and visitors, and provide this data to NHS Test and Trace, if it is requested. Check what data you need to collect and how it should be managed.
- Display an official NHS QR code poster from 24 September 2020, so that customers and visitors can ‘check-in’ using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details. Official NHS QR posters can be generated online.
Many businesses that take bookings already have systems for recording this information – including restaurants, hotels and pubs. These existing systems may be an effective means of collecting contact details, but if such a system is not in place, this will now be required in order to be compliant with the new regulations on NHS Test and Trace. Organisations must have a system in place for people who do not have a smartphone or do not want to use the NHS COVID-19 app.
Any business that is found not to be compliant with these regulations will be subject to financial penalties. It is vital that you comply with these regulations to help keep people safe, and to keep businesses open. Find out more about how NHS Test and Trace works.
Businesses operating a service where food and drink is taken off the premises immediately, including businesses operating on a takeaway basis under the national lockdown, are not required to comply with these requirements.
There is separate guidance on keeping a record of staff shift patterns, which can be found here.
Tests and vaccinations
It’s important that you continue to follow the working safely measures, even if your employees have:
- received a recent negative test result
- had the vaccine (either 1 or 2 doses)
Anyone with coronavirus symptoms can get a free NHS test.
You can also order rapid lateral flow tests, to test employees with no coronavirus symptoms.
You can register to order tests if:
- your business is registered in England
- your employees cannot work from home
Protecting people who are at higher risk
Objective: To support those who are at higher risk of infection and/or an adverse outcome if infected.
The Public Health England report Disparities in the risk and outcomes of COVID-19 shows that some groups of people may be at more risk of being infected and/or an adverse outcome if infected. Read progress update reports.
The higher-risk groups include those who:
- are older males
- have a high body mass index (BMI)
- have health conditions such as diabetes
- are from some Black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds
Equality in the workplace
Objective: To make sure that nobody is discriminated against.
In applying this guidance, employers should be mindful of the particular needs of different groups of workers or individuals.
It is breaking the law to discriminate, directly or indirectly, against anyone because of a protected characteristic such as age, sex, disability, race or ethnicity.
Employers also have particular responsibilities towards disabled workers and those who are new or expectant mothers.
Steps that will usually be needed:
- Understanding and taking into account the particular circumstances of those with protected characteristics.
- Involving and communicating appropriately with workers whose protected characteristics might either expose them to a different degree of risk, or might make any measures you are considering implementing inappropriate or challenging for them.
- Considering whether you need to put in place any particular measures or adjustments to take account of your duties under the equalities legislation.
- Making reasonable adjustments to avoid disabled workers being put at a disadvantage, and assessing the health and safety risks for new or expectant mothers.
- Making sure that the steps you take do not have an unjustifiable negative impact on some groups compared to others, for example, those with caring responsibilities or those with religious commitments.
Protocols and guidance that will characterise safe working during coronavirus have now been published by the UK Government. The guidance allows for ‘flexibility within a framework’ in order to allow business to reactivate and operate based on the type of space they work from, as opposed to the trade or industry they operate in.
Throughout the covid-19 pandemic, The Fitzrovia Partnership have been proactively working alongside our members, local/UK government, trade & industry bodies, whilst conducting research into business internationally and monitoring responses to localised spikes and lockdowns to collate information on best practice and guidance that will enable successful reactivation of workplaces as we continue the recovery and evolution phase of business.
Learnings from those who have reopened their workplaces has shown that building occupiers should be prepared to determine their own thresholds and policies aligned with COVID-19 secure guidance for bringing employees, customers and visitors back to the officers, stores and workplaces when it is safe to do so.
This will include factors like clear understanding of Test and Trace, reliable and sustained accessibility to key cleaning supplies, job specific personal protective equipment, the ability to enable social/physical distancing, frequent cleaning and regulatory requirements coupled with the implementation of best practice.