A pioneering scheme assessing business’ COVID-19 safety measures has been expanded to cover all City companies.
The accreditation scheme, which was set up in September last year as a pilot, was the first of its kind launched by a UK governing body.
Following its initial success, it was relaunched in April, to promote public confidence in London’s pubs, restaurants, gyms, hairdressers and shops.
Now, in the run-up to Step 4 of the Government’s COVID-19 roadmap, all City businesses are being urged to take part.
The City of London Corporation has teamed up with the London boroughs of Southwark and Camden to run the initiative, which aims to support companies in their reopening and reassure customers that premises are safe to visit.
The scheme involves local government environmental health officers examining companies’ COVID-19 risk assessments and procedures.
Officers carry out site visits, evaluating social distancing measures, customer track and trace, and cleanliness.
Businesses are given a simple pass or fail. Officers on site will tell companies that fail what they need to do to pass and they can then be reassessed.
A sticker is awarded to businesses to display on their premises and the result will be posted on each local authority and the City Corporation’s websites.
Small companies that are in direct contact with the public and are signed up to the scheme can apply to a new COVID Business Recovery Fund.
The aim is to help businesses that can show through the grant application process, that with support they have a reasonable chance to survive beyond the short-term.
Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Environmental Services Committee, Keith Bottomley, said: “As we approach the critical Step 4 of the Government’s COVID-19 roadmap – the final step in easing lockdown restrictions – it’s vital we do everything we can to support businesses. That is why we are expanding this scheme to cover all City companies.
“We understand it’s been a hugely challenging time for so many businesses, large and small, and we are delighted so many City companies have already stepped forward.
“It’s crucial that we encourage the return of workers and visitors when Government guidelines allow, whilst also providing reassurance about the steps taken to protect public health throughout the City’s reopening.”