The government has now published full guidance on how restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services can operate in a ‘Covid-secure’ way.
Boris Johnson promised yesterday that sector-specific guidance was on its way after announcing that the hospitality industry would be allowed to reopen on 4 July.
The new guidance, detailed in a 43-page document (and available to download at the foot of this article), explains the steps that foodservice operators should take to ensure their premises are safe for staff and customers.
It addresses risk management, social distancing, cleaning, PPE and workforce management, as well as advice on kitchens and food preparation areas.
Key kitchen requirements that operators need to bear in mind include:
– Minimising interaction between kitchen staff and other workers, including when on breaks.
– Putting teams into shifts to restrict the number of workers interacting with each other.
– Following government guidance on managing food preparation and food service areas.
– Allowing kitchen access to as few people as possible.
– Using ‘one way’ traffic flows to minimise contact.
– Minimising access to walk-in pantries, fridges and freezers, for example, with only one person being able to access these areas at one point in time.
– Spacing working areas to maintain social distancing guidelines (2m, or 1m with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable, is acceptable) as much as possible, recognising the difficulty of moving equipment such as sinks, hobs and ovens.
– Consider cleanable panels to separate working areas in larger kitchens. Providing floor marking to signal social distancing (2m, or 1m with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable, is acceptable).
– Minimising contact at ‘handover’ points with other staff, such as when presenting food to serving staff and delivery drivers.