As pubs and restaurants around the UK prepare to open for the first time since lockdown on Saturday, trade association BEAMA has today issued clear ventilation guidance for the hospitality sector to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The guidance, which stresses the need for effective ventilation alongside social distancing measures inside UK pubs and restaurants, provides six key recommendations to help keep premises COVID-secure. It considers optimal settings for mechanical ventilation systems, effective toilet ventilation, centralised systems, ventilation maintenance and ventilating without a mechanical system.
Ever since the Government announced plans to ease off restrictions to allow pubs and restaurants to reopen on 4 July, businesses have been doing all they can to minimise the risks of COVID-19 transmission. Guidance from the Health and Safety Executive and CIBSE has stressed the need for good ventilation, but there is a need for easy-to-follow direction for the hospitality industry, many of which are small, independent businesses who urgently need to re-open but are conscious of avoiding the spread of COVID-19.
With businesses opening to sell food and drink, the need to manage the risks of COVID-19 to both workers and customers is top of the agenda. Given the risk of transmission is considerably higher indoors,1 it is essential that hospitality venues are well ventilated to prevent airborne transmission of the virus. Sneezing, coughing and even talking can emit virus particles which can soon spread throughout a building where ventilation and indoor air quality is poor. It is in response to this considerable risk that BEAMA has issued the guidance to assist the hospitality sector in minimising the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Commenting on the new guidance, Colin Timmins, Director of Member Services, has said:
“With these guidelines, BEAMA aims to assist the hospitality industry in getting back to business. We recognise the significant risk posed by COVID-19 indoors and the concerns many pubs and restaurants will have for their employees and customers as they open their doors for the first time since lockdown. This guidance seeks to alleviate those fears by providing clear and key recommendations for good ventilation to help minimise the risk of virus transmission.”
To view the guidance in full, please download the infographic by clicking here.