How is the Safe to Trade scheme keeping Broxbourne residents safe?
After being shut for months, many of Broxbourne’s hospitality and retail establishments have now reopened.
As the local hospitality and retail sectors reawaken, a Covid safety scheme – Safe to Trade – is rolling out across the area. Hertfordshire County Council, in partnership with Broxbourne Borough Council, has launched the free pilot scheme to keep local residents safe, while also helping retail and hospitality businesses to reopen safely and with confidence.
By providing local businesses with clear guidance on the best practice Covid processes and procedures, keeping them up to date with the latest legislative changes and auditing their Covid-safety performance, the Safe to Trade Scheme ensures that every approved retail or hospitality venue is operating with the safety of Broxbourne residents  top of mind.
So that Broxbourne residents can also shop, dine or book a night out, with the peace of mind and confidence that they are choosing a COVID-safe business, the Safe to Trade scheme also provides a register of local retail and hospitality businesses that have been approved. So far, over 300 Broxbourne retail and hospitality venues have joined the Safe to Trade pilot , with more expected to follow in the coming days and weeks and over 100 are now approved.
What is the Safe to Trade Scheme?
The Safe to Trade Scheme is an independently verified safety standard for hospitality and retail businesses in Broxbourne that are not only compliant with, but also go above and beyond the government’s guidelines for trading during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Launched in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Safe to Trade scheme puts customer and employee safety at its core, creating safe, worry-free environments for everyone.
The scheme is administered by an expert team of Safety Practitioners at Shield Safety Group, alongside an independent Governance Board of the UK’s leading safety scientists and professionals, including the former CEO of the Health and Safety Executive and Food Standards Agency and the ex-Head of Local Delivery at Food Standards Agency.
The Safe to Trade scheme, which is underpinned by an industry-led safety charter [ADD LINK] not only helps Broxbourne hospitality and retail businesses to trade safely but also allows a business to demonstrate its commitment to trading safely. It also encourages customers and staff to independently feedback on venues, via a rating system, allowing for ongoing transparency and continual improvements to safety performance.
What makes a venue Safe to Trade ‘Approved’?
To achieve ‘approved status’ every venue of the Scheme’s register needs to meet a set of COVID-19 safety requirements that are set out in the Scheme’s Safety Charter
It also means that robust measures are in place to monitor its ongoing performance.
Expert environmental health practitioners from the Scheme work with every venue that signs-up, supporting them in making sure that their environment is COVID-19 compliant. All of the registered businesses undergo a supported COVID-19 safety assessment, in which the scheme’s experts review all aspects of an operation, including front and back of house and customer management. This ensures that these businesses comply with the government’s public health guidelines and the scheme’s Safety Charter. Only once this has been achieved will a business go on to achieve Safe to Trade ‘approved’ status.
Once approved, Broxbourne-based businesses then join hundreds of other hospitality venues on the national Safe to Trade Scheme register – a list of COVID-compliant venues that the public can consult to find an approved venue, as well as to provide feedback following a visit.
How do I know if a venue is Covid-safe?
In a nutshell, a venue should undertake the following practices and procedure results. When visiting a venue, you should be able to see these in action or be able to access information on their approach to these, either inside the venue or on their website:
- Clear guidance on social distancing and hygiene to people on arrival, for example, signage, visual aids and before arrival, such as by phone, on the website or by email.
- Hand sanitiser / hygiene precautions at the entrance
- Managing the entry of customers, and the number of customers at a venue
- Staggered entry times to avoid queues – and any queues kept outside
- System/record to help with the track and trace of guests
- Staff wearing masks and gloves
- Floor markers to denote social distancing where queues might gather
- Reconfigured indoor and outdoor seating and tables to maintain social distancing
- Limiting indoor gatherings to members of any two households (or support bubbles), while outdoor gatherings are limited to members of any two households, or a group of at most six people
- Reminding customers with children that they are responsible for supervising them at all times to maintain social distancing
- Adjustments within the venue to reduce congestion and contact between customers
- Minimising customer self-service of food, cutlery and condiments
- Customers asked to stay at table to reduce number of surfaces touched
- Contactless payments where possible and location of card readers is social distanced
- Using screens or tables at tills and counters to maintain social distancing
- Ensuring all outdoor areas, with particular regard to covered areas, have sufficient ventilation
What is the Safe to Trade Register?
The Safe to Trade register is a list of all the retail and hospitality venues in Broxbourne that have been approved as Safe to Trade.
Once a venue achieves approved status it is listed on the Public Register.
, and its ongoing performance is then monitored and kept up to date via this feedback, which is then shared with the outlet to encourage them to make changes to their safety measures. Businesses that achieve approved status are given window stickers and certificates so that when customers are out and about and considering where to patronise, they can quickly check if an outlet is Safe to Trade.
How can I find a Safe to Trade venue?
When out and about just look out for the Safe to Trade Shield of Approval, in the form of a window sticker and/or a certificate which should be on display inside, to find a venue approved by the scheme. Alternatively, approved venues can be found by searching the online register of approved businesses here.
How do I give feedback on a Safe to Trade venue?
All Safe to Trade venues are subject to continually monitoring by the scheme’s administrators. As part of this monitoring we value feedback from both customers and employees.
If you see something concerning at a venue or want to comment on how safe an outlet registered to the Scheme made you feel, then simply scan the QR code on the venue’s Safe to Trade window sticker or visit the website or search for the business on the Safe to Trade site. All feedback is anonymous and is shared with the venue, with outlet managers and owners encouraged to adjust and adapt their practices to ensure that their business stays COVID compliant and safe.
Since launching in May, hundreds of Broxbourne venues have already signed up to the Scheme, with hundreds more joining on a weekly basis. Many of these venues are still in the process of being loaded onto the register and so regular checking will ensure the most up to date list. To find out more about the Safe to Trade Scheme visit: www.safetotrade.org.uk.