Over 350 Broxbourne businesses so far signed up to Safe to Trade scheme

Lucy Neave

More than 350 businesses in Broxbourne have so far signed up to the Safe to Trade COVID-19 pilot scheme launched by Hertfordshire County Council, in partnership with Broxbourne Borough Council.

Underpinned by an industry-leading safety charter, the Safe to Trade scheme is an independently-verified, COVID-19 public safety standard being piloted in Broxbourne to help local businesses put robust and compliant COVID-19 safety practices in place.

The scheme has been launched to keep local residents safe, while also helping retail and hospitality businesses to reopen safely and with confidence. It provides local businesses with clear guidance on the latest legislative changes and additional support via the provision of an advice line.

A Safe to Trade Scheme ‘approved’ accreditation reassures Broxbourne residents that an establishment is not only COVID-compliant, but that it is also doing more than the government requires to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. It also means that robust measures are in place to monitor its ongoing performance.

Developed by an independent governance board of the UK’s leading food and hospitality safety scientists and professionals, and administrated by an expert team of safety practitioners at Shield Safety Group, the pilot scheme is free of charge for Broxbourne hospitality and retail businesses.

The aim is to get these businesses up-and-running fast, as the UK starts to reopen following recent lockdown restrictions, while auditing their COVID-safety performance and reassuring customers in the process. The intention is to roll out the Safe to Trade scheme countywide later in the year. Meanwhile businesses in Broxbourne are still welcome to continue to sign up.

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Expert environmental health practitioners from Shield Safety Group are now working with the 350-plus businesses that have signed up, supporting them in making sure that their environment is COVID-19 compliant. All will have a supported COVID-19 safety assessment, in which the Shield Safety team reviews all aspects of its operation, including front and back of house and customer management. This ensures that it complies with the government’s public health guidelines and the scheme’s Safety Charter. Only once this has been achieved will a business go on to achieve Safe to Trade ‘approved’ status.

Once approved, Broxbourne-based businesses will join hundreds of other hospitality venues on a national Safe to Trade scheme register – a list of COVID-compliant businesses that the public can consult to find an approved venue, as well as to provide feedback following a visit. The businesses signed up so far include a mix of hospitality and retail venues, including high street names as well as well-known local establishments.

David Holliday, Broxbourne Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment, said:

“We are delighted with the response from local businesses to the pilot Safe to Trade scheme, and encourage businesses who haven’t signed up yet to do so. By simply signing up to join the scheme, the venues have demonstrated their commitment to delivering the most robust COVID-19 safety standards.”

Jim McManus, Director of Public Health for Hertfordshire, said:

“It’s fantastic to see the first swathe of businesses in Broxbourne signing up to the Safe to Trade scheme. We fully appreciate that it has been an incredibly challenging year for them and, by signing up to the scheme, each is taking the right steps to ensure that their customers, staff – and anyone else on site – stay safe. I’d urge all businesses in Broxbourne to register – it is an easy process and shows that a business is both committed to safety and COVID-secure.”

Businesses interested in signing up to the free Safe to Trade scheme can start the process by registering their business at shieldsafety.co.uk/hertfordshire, or by calling 0203 362 4439. To find out more about the Safe to Trade scheme and/or to review the register of approved businesses visit: safetotrade.org.uk.

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