Epsom & Ewell Borough Council’s environmental health and licensing teams are supporting restaurants, pubs and bars to get their businesses back up and running. Latest government guidance suggests that this vital business sector may be able to reopen in early July.
During the lockdown, environmental health officers have been in contact with 80 of the borough’s registered food businesses. They have been providing food safety guidance as many of the businesses switched to providing takeaways and food deliveries. As well as adopting different hygiene practices, these businesses have had to introduce new measures to respond to the risk of the Covid-19.
Emergency food supplies – such as food parcels and meal deliveries – have also benefitted from the team’s food safety expertise. To date, council and voluntary groups have delivered over 8,000 meals and supplies to vulnerable people throughout the borough.
The licensing team has meanwhile been working remotely supporting licenced premises to ensure their various license requirements continue to be valid. They’ve also brought an entrepreneurial mind set to help businesses find ways to take advantage of the flexibility introduced during the pandemic, enabling some of them to continue to operate in different business models.
The team has also been highlighting the various grants available for small businesses and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant administered by the council.
Councillor Neil Dallen, Chair of the Environment and Safe Communities Committee, said “Our teams have been incredibly busy throughout the lockdown, investigating an increased number of food premises complaints and dealing with food and licensing related enquiries, as well as offering support to businesses in this difficult time.
“Now, as we move towards the new normal, we are keen to support the borough’s restaurants, pubs and bars and provide advice on how they can ensure they are Covid-secure, so that they are in the best position when they are able to reopen”.