The coronavirus pendemic has produced the requirement for increased hand hygeine and the promotion of social distancing. This unit explains both and what action you should be taking as a stallholder on our markets to comply. It then ends with a brief quiz to test your knowledge.
It is well established that the coronavirus passes from one person to another either by airborn particles or by virus picked up by the hands and transfered to the face where it can enter the body. It is not thought to survive for long in the environment.
The virus can be killed on your hands by washing with soap for 20 seconds. This is because the soap attacks the outer coating of the sack the virus is contained within and when exposed it 'dies'. Alternately, it can be killed by using hand sanitiser with over 60% alcohol.
Alternately, gloves can be worn as a 'second skin' and disposed of after use.
Face masks can prove useful but, when used by the public, it is though mainly to stop the emmision of virus charged airborn particles leaving the mouth during coghing/sneezing. However, they may reduce the chance of breathing such particles in as well.
Glasses (or goggles/visors) can also stop such particles entering the eyes when sneezed/coughed into a persons's face.
You may also see medical staff wearing disposable overclothing. This is to remove the cance of virus lodging in cloths and being transferred by hands to the face.
Currently, the official recommended course of action is to wash/sanitise hands after contact with people/surfaces, not to touch one's face prior to that action and to keep over 1.5 meters from other people.
Given that the virus is passed from one person to another the idea of distancing has obvious appeal as a tactic. In order to promote this there have been two approaches adopted:
The new public health order (Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order (No 3) 2020 operates from 1 June 2020 and completely replaces the previous order.
Section 5 provides that the premises referred to in column 1 Schedule 1 are limited to the number of people in column 2, no one can be there in a group of more than 10 and there can be other special conditions specified in column 3.
The section goes on to exempt people working on the premises and certain other groups like wedding, services, etc
The section finally introduces the idea of a COVID-19 safety plan which if is required by column 3 must be developed by the business and a copy kept at the premises. It must addresses the matters required by the COVID-19 safety checklist approved by the Chief Health Officer in relation to the type of premises and published on an appropriate Government website.
Section 6 allows certain welfare uses such as 'soup kitchens'.
Section 7 compels any adult not to allow more than 5 visitors at home but provides exceptions like workmen, childcare, carers, etc.
Section 8 limits numbers to 500 out of doors, 100 indoors subject to the 4 meter rule but exempts the home or any premises referred to in Schedule 1 or meeting in Schedule 2.
Section 9 forces employers to let employees work at home where they can.
Section 10 bans public meeting of more than 10 but excludes (among other things) any premises referred to in Schedule 1 or meeting in Schedule 2.Section 11 deals with wedding, funerals, services, etc
Section 12 provides records must be kept for four weeks.
Schedule 1 specifies Restricted Premises and the main relevant entry for us is at 14A:
So if a market predominantly sells food it will handled under this entry line. The blank in Column 2 means that there is no limit set on the number of people who can be at the market.
At 14 the order deals with markets that do not predominantly sell food. Essentially they are dealt with the same but there is a limit on the number of people who can be at the market which has to be calculated as it is no more than the total number of persons calculated by allowing 4 square metres of space for each person on the premises and this has differences when it comes to preparing the COVID-19 safety plan.
An entry in the schedule of Restricted Premises exempt those premises from the restrictions in Section 8 (500 people, etc) or Section 10 (maximum 10 people to meet).
In conclusion the Health Order specifies that a market that predominatly sells food is not limit as to numbers but does require a COVID-19 safety plan. Our COVID-19 Safety Plan can be seen here.
* A market is defined as an open-air area, or an existing building, that is used for the purpose of selling, exposing or offering goods, merchandise or materials for sale by independent stall holders, and includes temporary structures and existing permanent structures used for that purpose on an intermittent or occasional basis.
The main policy recommendation of relevance to operation of markets is the recommendation to stay more than 1.5 meters away from other people 'when possible'. This leads to practices such as floor marking with lines or crosses 1.5 meters apart to help manage queues.
There are a range of actions the market should take to help support public policy but no particular actions required by law save to ensure we remain a food market in order to be covered by the exemptions. To this end we have adopted a predominantly food policy until the Health Order is varied.
Our markets have adopted the following measures at each market to support public policy:
Traders should adopt the following code.
It's important that trader adopt enhanced cleaning procedures. This means disinfecting touch points such as credit card taps and the like in a systematic way (eg every hour) and to keep a record. A simple paper record like the ones used in toilets will suffice.
Please complete and submit the quiz below.