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Southwark pilots ‘COVID compliant’ business accreditation scheme

Julia Gregory, Local Democracy Reporter

A pilot scheme will assess COVID-19 safety measures in Southwark businesses to encourage public confidence in the capital's pubs, restaurants, cafes and shops.

Southwark pilots ‘COVID compliant’ business accreditation scheme

It's the first test of its kind set up by local councils in the UK, in a bid to get businesses back on their feet.

It sees the City of London Corporation teaming up with the London boroughs of Southwark and Camden to help businesses as they reopen, and it aims to reassure customers that premises are safe to visit.

Businesses already have to do their own COVID-19 risk assessment. What makes this scheme different is environmental health experts will do their own independent review of 30 businesses from each of the three boroughs.

They will look at businesses' risk assessments and do a site visit to look at social distancing measures, customer track and trace and cleanliness.

Firms in the trial will be given a simple pass or fail.

Any which don't make the grade will received advice and will be reassessed.

Those which pass the tests will get a sticker to display with results posted on each of the local authority websites.

The pilot starts on Monday and runs until October.

If it works well it could be rolled out across London.

Southwark Council leader Peter John said the scheme could reassure people about consistency in making businesses safe.

"This new scheme offers that consistent approach and looks at a simple checklist of measures that businesses can carry out, which follow the Government's guidelines on keeping people safe," said Cllr John.

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