Coronavirus advice and guidance for business
We are experiencing a high volume of calls at Newham Business Desk so it may take longer than usual to get back to you. We will endeavor to respond to you as soon as possible but if you are unable to get through to us, please leave us a message on the phone or in the first instance please email us at [email protected]. We thank you in advance.
Working safely during Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Keeping your customers and visitors safe
For smaller, lower risk businesses, enforced for health and safety by local authorities and who don’t have dedicated health and safety advice we have created a template to help businesses (Word) go through the risk assessment process and document their findings.
England moved to Plan B on 10 December.
- Face masks are compulsory in most public indoor venues. There will be exemptions in venues where it is not practical to wear a mask when you are actually drinking or eating – including pubs, bars, cafés and restaurants.
- Use outside space where practical.
- Open windows and doors for fresh air into indoor spaces.
- Ensure any mechanical ventilation system is set to maximise fresh air and minimise air recirculation.
- Wash hands and clean surfaces regularly.
- Display QR codes for customers to check in to the NHS COVID-19 app.
- Update risk assessments.
- It is still a legal requirement to self-isolate if people test positive or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace. Close contacts who are not fully vaccinated are also required to isolate.
- If employees have symptoms they must stay at home.
- Businesses must support employees to self-isolate.
- Ensure employees and customers who feel unwell do not come in.
- Pay your employees where you can, including using statutory sick pay.
- It is possible to end self-isolation after seven days, following two negative lateral flow tests (LFT) taken 24 hours apart. The first LFT should not be taken before the sixth day.
- The council offers support for isolation, including food, money, befriending and more. For info, contact the COVID-19 Helpline on 020 7473 9711 or email [email protected] between 9am and 7pm every day.
- Ask all employees to take a lateral flow test (LFT) at least twice a week. LFTs are free and available online and from many collection points (newham.gov.uk/rapidtesting).
- Everyone should do a PCR test if they have symptoms or have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 (newham.gov.uk/testing). As a temporary measure people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms from 11 January people who a positive LFT result will be required to self-isolate immediately and will not be required to take a further confirmatory PCR test.
- If an employee is fully vaccinated (2 doses) and a close contact of a COVID-19 case, they should take a LFT every day for seven days. They should also avoid crowded places and contact with vulnerable people. If an employee is not fully vaccinated, they must isolate for 10 days.
- Encourage employees to get their vaccines – first, second and third doses as soon as they are eligible. You will need all the doses, including a booster, to get the best protection form the worst effects of COVID-19.
- Give employees time off to get their vaccine if they need it.
- Provide sick pay to employees who have side effects.
- Look after yourself and those around you newham.gov.uk/healthylife.
- Support each other and check how people in the team are doing.
- Refresh employee training around covid controls.
For further information on the gov.uk website.
We encourage everyone in Newham to get vaccinated and have a booster jab if they haven't done so yet, and to wear masks in order to protect each other and stay safe this winter.
You can book by calling 119 or by using the NHS booking service, which now allows those eligible for a booster vaccine to pre-book their vaccine five months after their second dose.
Eligible residents can also use the walk-in service - view our How to get your Covid-19 vaccine page for the updated vaccine schedule.
Coronavirus business support grants
COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund
On 16 December 2021 the Government announced a new COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) of £1.5 billion. The fund will be available to support those businesses affected by the pandemic but that are ineligible for existing support linked to business rates.
The Local Authority are currently designing this discretionary relief scheme and more information regarding eligibility and applications will follow shortly.
Hospitality Support Grant
On 21 December 2021 the Chancellor announced a £1billion fund to support businesses in the hospitality sector as the UK tackles rising cases of the Omicron variant. We are currently waiting for details on funding allocations and will update you as soon as we have more information.
For additional information on wider business support measures please visit our page