Publicans have had to try and negotiate their way through a set of pretty vague guidelines, applying them to their establishment and making sure that they will be able to operate in a manner which, is not only safe for both staff and customers, but also makes reopening commercially viable.
It is also true to say that publicans and their staff will be on the frontline because, as we have seen with the public behaviour on beaches and in public areas, a lot of people have very different views on what is and is not acceptable. If you add alcohol into the mix, it becomes more of a challenge.
Landlords will be trying to police their own premises and will be acting as both bouncer and social worker in many cases, dealing with people who don’t understand or accept the measures that have been put in place in the pub to keep staff and consumers safe.
Your risk assessment must be written by you and it must apply directly to your premises.
I say this, because we’ve encountered issues where, for example, “Sheila up the road has done one,” and you’ve just asked her for a copy so you can adjust it. To be clear, a standard template will not do. It has to be tailored and applied directly to your premises.
Most of us are very familiar with risk assessments, so take the one you already have and adapt it for a COVID-19 world. You don’t have to completely rewrite it and the document doesn’t need to rival “War and Peace“!
Our legal partner has highlighted 3 key areas to look at while completing your risk assessment:
Clothing – PPE, masks, gloves etc.
Cleaning – use of hand sanitizers, cleaning surfaces, glass washing, kitchens etc.
Separation – the social distancing measures you have put in place.
If you’ve tried to do your best and documented your risk assessment, you have what you need in place for any regulators. In the current circumstances, the regulators will work with you to make sure you are operating in a safe and compliant manner.
I anticipate there will be issues with opening on Saturday. Some we can predict but others we won’t fully understand until we’ve been through the process of reopening. At the Forum of British Pubs, we will learn from the experience, we will share that information and we will make sure that all of our members and supporters are kept up-to-date and are operating as efficiently and profitably as possible.
Please watch the interview with Gary Gallen, CEO of rradar, our legal partner.
Stay safe and if you’re opening your doors on the 4th, get in touch and let us know how it goes : email@example.com