To help consumer confidence across the district and to keep the public safe, Winchester City Council is working with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and both agencies are once again contacting local businesses by telephone and conducting a series of visits to ensure the safety of their customers and staff. These are being called ‘spot checks’ and this is part of wider efforts to tackle coronavirus in the district and reduce its impact by ensuring COVID-19 Secure measures are in place.
These spot checks will provide an opportunity for local businesses to seek advice and guidance to manage the risk posed by COVID-19. While these visits are aimed at supporting businesses, immediate action can be taken if public or workers are believed to be at risk of harm.
Cabinet Member for Local Economy, Cllr Paula Ferguson, said:
“It’s been great to see local businesses following the rules and making sure signage is in place, social distancing guidelines are being followed and masks are being worn, and I’d like to thank all our local businesses for all they’ve done to help protect us. These joint visits by HSE and the City Council are important as they will help us to ensure this good work continues and that proper measures are in place in businesses across the district.
“This has undoubtedly been a hugely challenging time for the business community, and we want to reassure them, our residents and our visitors, that we will continue to work with them and support them, so they are able to provide a safe environment for everyone.”
Mike Greenwood, Environmental Health Manager, from the city council’s Health Protection Team, commented:
“Since we started the spot check programme in the Winchester district in September, we have found the majority of businesses are trying to get this right and have taken a number of steps to control the risk from COVID-19, including putting in measures to implement and promote social distancing.
“It is important that we continue to support our local business community and these random and unannounced visits are just one of the ways that we are working to build the confidence of consumers. By making sure that businesses have measures in place to manage the risks, we can benefit the health of the local community as well as support the local and national economy.”
Being COVID-19 Secure means that businesses need to put adjustments in place to manage the risk and protect people from coronavirus. For further information on how to manage the risk of coronavirus in different business sectors please read the government guidance or speak to the council’s Health Protection team: EHelath@winchester.gov.uk.
Further information on what the council is doing to support businesses through this challenging time can be found on their Business Support pages – https://www.winchester.gov.uk/business/covid-19-support. Details of a new programme of support, specifically for business on high streets and neighbourhood shopping areas across the district can be found here: https://highstreet.winchester.gov.uk