As you will no doubt be aware, the regulations around the control of COVID-19 are changing on Monday 19th July as England is moved from step 3 to step 4 of the pandemic roadmap.
However, we are in the grip of the third wave of the pandemic in this country with infections, hospitalisations and deaths all rising. The Government says “Although most legal restrictions will be lifted at step 4, and many people have been vaccinated, it is still possible to catch and spread COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated”. One restriction that will remain the law is the requirement to isolate if you feel unwell with any COVID symptoms, have a positive COVID test result, or are told to do so by the NHS.
From Monday it will be down to all of us to take personal responsibility for preventing the spread of COVID through, for example, the continued use of face coverings and social distancing in crowded places, regular hand sanitising, and limiting unnecessary social interactions.
As a business, The Pet Tank has further obligations to safeguard the welfare of our staff, customers and visitors as we have done throughout the pandemic. The Government expects that “employers will still have a legal duty to manage risks to those affected by their business. The way to do this is to carry out a health and safety risk assessment, including the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to mitigate the risks you identify”
We are in the process of updating our COVID risk assessment to take account of the changes coming in on Monday. We anticipate that this will be a dynamic process and we will constantly monitor and adjust our guidelines as required over the coming weeks and months.
To begin with, we would politely ask you to follow the following precautions when visiting the store:
1) No entry to anyone with any COVID symptoms (fever, cough, loss of smell or taste) THIS IS LAW.
2) Wear a face covering.
3) Keep at least 1 metre away from anyone else (2 metres where possible).
4) Wash hands before and after visiting the store and use provided hand sanitiser in store.
5) Wait outside (away from the door) if shop looks busy, or you are with someone who is shopping but you are not.
6) Try not to touch surfaces or stock unless you have to.
All staff at The Pet Tank will comply with points 1 – 4 above and, in addition we will:
1) Disinfect surfaces at least twice per day, and commonly touched surfaces between every customer (as we have throughout pandemic).
2) Utilise sneeze screens including new ones.
3) Return opening hours on Wednesdays back to normal hours 9am – 5pm
4) Encourage remote ordering via our online shop www.thepettank.co.uk
All of these precautions will help protect you, other customers and our staff from becoming ill and having to self isolate. In the event of staff having to self isolate, the shop would have to close with immediate effect until the law states that we can re-open again safely. This is something we would really like to avoid.