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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Latest information and advice for residents and businesses in Horsham District.

Visit our Coronavirus: Community support page to get in touch about volunteering or supporting your local community.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus: Information for businesses and employees

The Government has set up a new website containing all the details of the schemes the Chancellor has announced to support businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

HM Government: Coronavirus Business Support

Health advice for employers

The Government has updated its guidance to assist employers and businesses in providing advice to staff on:

Businesses should remind staff to follow the NHS' stay at home advice.

Business rates

On 17 and 11 March 2020 The Chancellor announced extra help for businesses as part of the Spring Budget. Visit our Business Rates pages for information about the main changes that will impact business rate bills in 2020/21.

For all other changes announced to help businesses, please read the Government guidance for employers and businesses

The Civil Contingencies Secretariat has developed a Business Continuity Management Toolkit in partnership with stakeholders to help the commercial and voluntary sector implement continuity plans.

Key contacts

Below is a list of key organisations to communicate with, and what they can advise you on:

Sign up for email updates

Sign up to receive email updates for the latest business support information from the Council during coronavirus COVID-19

Sign up for business email updates

Employment support

Journey to Work

Journey to Work is still available to residents of the Horsham District that need employment support during this difficult time. However, support will be conducted remotely via telephone or email. Please visit the Journey to Work page to get in touch.

WISH Club

Following government guidance, all WISH clubs have been cancelled with immediate effect and until further notice.

If you need support, which we can provide remotely, please call 07783 222956 or email wish@setas.org.uk

Advice for food businesses on switching to a take-away service

In response to the Coronavirus situation, Horsham District Council is giving support to local food businesses wanting to diversify their business model to develop take away and delivery ‘meals on wheels’ style services to support vulnerable customers.

Organisations wishing to now offer take away and home delivery services do need to ensure they have sufficient control measures in place.

At the most basic level, the requirements for all those considering food delivery or takeaway operations is that they must firstly be registered as a food business with Horsham District Council, and then have in place measures to ensure all food will be delivered in a way that it does not become unsafe or unfit to eat.

Products must be protected from contamination at all times and be wrapped in effective packaging using impervious and non-toxic food contact packaging, such as tight sealing takeaway containers.

Consideration must also be given to whether the food needs to be kept hot or cold during transport, with insulated boxes or bags used as necessary.  It is recommended to keep delivery distances short with a travel time limited to less than 30 minutes, in order to ensure hot and cold foods are kept above 63oC and below 8oC respectively.

Providing adequate information about the food being supplied to customers is very important, particularly if that person suffers from a food allergy or intolerance.

If you have any questions about food safety matters, please contact Environmental Health & Licensing on 01403 215 403 or at publichealth.licensing@horsham.gov.uk.

Find information on allergen management on the Food Standards Agency (FSA) website. In addition, they have also provided general advice for business on how to manage the selling of products via online, takeaway or delivery service, which can be found on their Distance selling mail order and delivery page.

It is strongly recommended that businesses limit contact as much as possible, such as only taking orders and payments over the phone or online, rather than cash.  It is also best to leave deliveries at the door of customers instead of handing them over.

Advice for licensed pubs

Pubs that are still open for people to consume food and drink on the premises will face prohibition notices, potentially unlimited fines and the loss of their alcohol licence, new legislation has stated.

The list of businesses that must close include pubs, nightclubs, and bars (including bars in hotels or members’ clubs).

The Government confirmed these venues should have closed from Saturday 21 March and the measures will be “reviewed every 28 days to consider the necessity and effectiveness in light of changing circumstances”.

As of 2pm last Saturday (21 March), closures are now enforceable by law in England and Wales due to the threat to public health and businesses that operate in contravention of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closures) Regulations 2020 will be committing an offence.

Monitoring compliance

Horsham District Council’s Environmental Health and Licensing team and Trading Standards Officers will monitor compliance with these regulations, with police support if appropriate.

Pubs that wish to offer takeaway services

However, pubs with off-sales licences can still offer takeaways (of both food and drink) during this period and planning rules have currently been relaxed to assist this.

Please note, operators who are offering takeaway or delivery services must not include alcohol if their licence does not permit off-sales of alcohol.

Pubs that are now operating as a Pop up Shop are allowed to continue to sell essential items as long as the customer buys their items and leave the premises immediately, this includes any outside areas within the boundary of the licensed premises.