Firms are being urged to go the extra mile to prove they are Covid-safe in a town hall scheme.
Southwark council is urging businesses from across the borough to join the growing number of premises whose safety measures have been accredited as Covid Compliant under their ongoing pilot scheme.
Businesses in Southwark, including pubs, restaurants, beauty salons and a theatre, have signed up to the initiative to provide extra reassurance to customers that they will be safe to visit once they can reopen.
Currently by law, venues and businesses must already carry out a Covid-19 risk assessment.
The pilot accreditation scheme, which launched in September, aims to increase public confidence in businesses’ safety measures through an independent review by the council’s Environmental Health team.
They examine each business’s Covid-19 risk assessment and carry out a site visit to check social distancing measures, customer track and trace, masks and other PPE are being worn, and that all hygiene measures are in place.
Businesses which pass are awarded a sticker to display on their premises and a logo with information about their award to share on sites such as Trip Advisor, food delivery platforms, their website and social media.
Those who fail have the opportunity to put into place remedial measures as advised by the officers when on site and be re-assessed.
Accredited businesses in the borough endorse the council’s pilot scheme which they say has helped customers feel more confident when visiting their premises.
Nina, owner and manager at Nina’s Nails and Beauty in Rotherhithe, said: “I can’t speak highly enough of the Covid Compliant Accreditation Scheme and the guidance and support we’ve received from the Environmental Health team at Southwark council.
“Since Covid-19, we’ve had customers asking us to visit them for their appointments because they were so worried about leaving their homes. It has made the world of difference being able to reassure them that our premises are Covid Compliant.
“The accreditation process was straightforward and council’s officers were on hand to help throughout. Since becoming accredited, we’ve been delighted by how many of our customers feel confident in returning to our salon.”
Councillor Evelyn Akoto, cabinet member for public health and community safety, said: “We’re so pleased that local businesses who are playing their part in keeping residents safe are also reaping the benefit of the pilot accreditation scheme.
“It’s fantastic to hear that customer confidence has already been restored for some businesses, and we hope others across Southwark will follow in their footsteps to provide people extra peace of mind that they’re Covid Compliant and serving their community as safely as possible.”
For more information or to apply to Southwark council’s Covid Compliant Accreditation Scheme, click here.
Pictured top: Marius Dwrobel from The Ring, Blackfriars Road
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