Reopening Hospitality after COVID

reopening-hospitality
EHS Management, Risk

COVID-19 has affected businesses at every level and hospitality businesses in particular have had to remain closed for long periods of time. While many business owners will be glad to finally reopen to customers, there are a number of new measures will have to be undertaken as part of a risk assessment before your hospitality business can reopen. Here are some of the key areas of a COVID-19 Risk Assessment: 

Identifying areas that could become crowded 

As social distancing measures are still in place, you will need to ensure that staff and customers always keep an appropriate distance apart. This will mean identifying possible pinch points in the building, narrow corridors, waiting lines and other areas that could generate large amounts of traffic. The measures that can be put in place include: 

  • Placing visual signposting (e.g floor markers or posts) to communicate where customers can and cannot stand 
  • Putting one-way systems in place 
  • Limiting the number of people in a room at any one time 
  • Using other areas of the building for staff rest areas 
  • Staggering opening times or shifts 

Identifying points of contact where COVID-19 could be spread 

A key part of your risk assessment will be tracking the surfaces, objects and workstations that staff or customers will make contact with. Once these are identified, appropriate cleaning measures will need to be put in place, as well as some other measures to prevent physical contact. These include: 

  • Identifying surfaces such as door handles, handrails and worktops that will be frequently touched 
  • Setting up regular cleaning shifts for these areas 
  • Putting physical barriers in place such as perspex sheets 
  • Keeping non-fire doors open to prevent the need to touch door handles and increase air flow 
  • Providing lockers to staff to keep their belongings separate 
  • Providing contactless payment 
  • Replacing physical documents with paperless solutions 

Ensuring frequent and thorough hand-washing 

Another vital part of ensuring your hospitality business is kept free of spreading COVID-19 is promoting the cleaning of hands by both customers and staff. These cleaning points need to be provided in areas where physical contact is necessary and where equipment is being shared, as well as common areas for handwashing. Some of these measures include 

  • Providing hand sanitiser at entry to your business and at other identified areas 
  • Providing appropriate signage with instructions, reminding people to wash their hands thoroughly 
  • Having a plan for the refilling and replenishing of cleaning stations 
  • Providing more bins and emptying them more often 

Legionella

As many hospitality businesses have been unable to open during the past year, there is the strong possibility that water has been sitting for long periods of time – increasing the risks of legionella. Extra measures will need to be put in place to manage legionella risks when restarting water systems. Some of these systems include 

  • Cooling towers and evaporative condensers 
  • Certain air conditioning units, particularly large units with condensate trays 
  • Spa pools and hot tubs 


These Risk Assessment measures are just some of the ways you will need to prepare before you can safely reopen a hospitality business. Velappity’s risk assessment software comes with a COVID-19 template with forms that can be easily edited to suit your industry. Get in touch today for a free 30-day trial of Velappity and ease the stress of reopening your business. 

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