Following the Welsh Government announcement of local restrictions being introduced across the Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough, we have prepared the following FAQs for businesses.
Business Wales advisers are on hand to deliver support and assistance to any entrepreneur or business during these challenging times. For business advice contact Business Wales or visit the Business Wales website.
What businesses are affected by the restrictions.
The latest restrictions are not directly targeted at any specific employment sectors. Businesses should already be operating within the guidelines issued by Welsh Government including social distancing measures and enhanced cleaning regimes.
What are the rules on working from home for residents of the Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough area?
If you live in the Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough area and can work from home, you MUST do so. But if you cannot reasonably do your work from home, you can continue to travel to a place of work (whether that is within or outside the area).
If you have coronavirus symptoms, live in the same house as someone with symptoms, or are an identified contact of someone with symptoms, you must stay at home and self-isolate.
My employer wants me to go to work. Do I have to?
People can only travel to work if it is not reasonably practicable for them to work from home. This is a legal obligation.
Employers and employees should discuss their working arrangements. Employers should take every possible step to help their employees to work from home, including providing suitable IT equipment. Employers also have a separate legal duty to take reasonable steps to ensure their employees are not exposed to risks to their health. Please see the Keep Wales Safe – at work guidance.
If you can reasonably work from home your employer cannot make you go to work.
Can I carry out building or repair work in someone’s home?
Yes. Work carried out in people’s homes, for example by tradespeople, can continue. Our advice, however, is that both the tradesperson and household members should be well and have no symptoms of coronavirus. Please see the self-isolation guidance for more information. Like other businesses, tradespeople must take all reasonable measures to ensure that 2m distancing is maintained at all times when working in other people’s households and should follow the advice in our social distancing guidance. Please see the guidance on reasonable measures for more information.
It is recommended that no work should be carried out in any household which is isolating or where a person who is classed as extremely vulnerable is undertaking ‘shielding’ measures, unless it is to repair a fault which poses a direct risk to people’s safety – for example, emergency plumbing. In these cases, Public Health Wales can provide advice to tradespeople and households. But no work should be carried out by a tradesperson who has coronavirus symptoms, however mild.
Workers can continue to go into other households to carry out work such as repairs, installations and take deliveries.
Such visits should be subject to a risk assessment as well as ensuring that social distancing and correct wearing of masks is followed where appropriate.
Business Deliveries – will I be allowed to receive deliveries from outside the County Borough / will companies be allowed to deliver items?
Such visits should be subject to a risk assessment, as well as ensuring social distancing and hand hygiene is followed at all times. It may also be appropriate for a face covering to be worn.
Are restaurants, cafés, bars and pubs still allowed to be open?
Yes, but you can only eat and drink indoors with people you live with. It is a criminal offence to deliberately meet someone from outside your household in any of these settings (indoors). There are strict rules about how hospitality settings such as this area allowed to operate. However, if these rules aren’t followed or if people continue to meet others form outside their households they may have to close. If you run such a business or organise events on their premises, you should take steps to ensure people do not interact with people they do not live with, in line with Covid-19 regulations.
To reduce the likelihood of transmission from the hospitality industry, all licensed premises will be required to close at 11.00pm each evening - This will change, in line with Welsh Government regulations to 10pm from 6pm on Thursday 24th September and will now include the sale of alcohol in Supermarkets and Off-licences.
Are hairdressers, beauty salons and other close contact services still allowed to be open?
Yes, although you should only attend these within the area. You will need to wear a face covering.
Can sport, leisure and recreation facilities remain open?
Yes – but large gatherings of people are not allowed. The operators of these grounds and facilities MUST take all necessary measures to manage risk and maintain social distancing. If you run such a business or organise events on their premises, you should take steps to ensure people do not interact with people they do not live with, in line with Covid-19 regulations;
My business is within the county borough can I use the test centre?
The temporary testing facilities set up in Rhondda Cynon Taf are for RCT residents in response to the spike. There are other test centres available for residents in other areas.
An employee has tested positive should I close my business? Does every employee need testing?
The advice for a positive test is clear, you must self-isolate and work with the Track and Trace team to identify potential contacts.
You must self-isolate at home in line with the UK Government self-isolation guidance.
To reduce the risk of passing on the infection to other household members you should take actions as outlined in the guidance. Please refer to the ‘Ending Isolation’ guidance and ‘Stay at Home Guidance Diagram’ for more information on when it is safe for you to come out of isolation.
What shops will be open?
All shops can be open. However, you should stay within the Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough area when you go to the shops, and you MUST wear a face covering, unless you are exempt to do so.
Please see Welsh Government guidance on the use of face coverings.
Can I wear a visor instead of a face covering?
In the context of the requirements imposed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, a visor or face shield is not a face covering. It is made of waterproof material, fits loosely over the eyes and extends down such that it may lie over but not cover the nose and mouth. It cannot fit snugly around the nose and mouth as it could impair breathing and may fog. The effectiveness of visors and face shields is unknown at present. They are worn in clinical/care giving settings to protect against large droplet exposure, including by inoculation through the eyes, but when worn outside these settings there is no evidence that face shields/visors protect the wearer or are an effective source control for either larger droplets or small aerosols.
We appreciate that some people speak for a living (such as someone leading worship) and have difficulty making themselves heard when wearing other types of face covering. However, visors are designed to protect the eyes from airborne droplets and are not as effective as face coverings, so extra precautions must be taken when using only using visors for speaking purposes. If this is not possible a face covering should be worn.
More information is available here - https://gov.wales/face-coverings-guidance-public
Can I travel outside the local area to buy things I cannot get locally?
You are able to get essential goods from outside your local area if you can’t reasonably be expected to do this within the area or get them delivered. But in other cases, you must stay within the area. Travelling to Cardiff to go to a clothes shop, for example, is not allowed.
Can I use click and collect services outside the Rhondda Cynon Taf county borough area?
In most cases the answer to this will be no while the requirement to stay within the area remains in place. You need a reasonable excuse to travel outside the area to collect something you need. That is unlikely to be the case if it can be conveniently delivered to you.
I am a childminder and care for children in my own home. Can I still do that and are there any restrictions to the services I can provide?
Yes, you can continue to run your childcare setting. You should ensure you are following our guidance on Protective Measures in Childcare Settings. Increased hygiene measures including cleaning and regular handwashing are particularly important. No child or staff member should attend a setting if they are ill and you should take all steps to ensure children remain within their contact groups while in your setting.
I run a full day care setting/sessional day care setting. Can I still do that and are there any restrictions to the services I can provide?
Yes – see answer above.
I run an out of school childcare setting (breakfast / after school club). Can I still do that and are there any restrictions to the services I can provide?
Yes – see answer above.
Can I do voluntary work?
Yes. There is no restriction on going out to provide care or help to a vulnerable person, including emergency help. This includes getting food and medicines for them. But it is important you do not put yourself or the person you are caring for at risk. Please see the volunteering guidance for more information.
But if you live in the Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough area and could reasonably do voluntary or charitable work from home you must do so
Do I have to wear a face covering?
Everyone over the age of 11 MUST wear face coverings while in shops, on public transport and any other indoor public place, unless they are eating or drinking there.
There are some limited exceptions to this requirement, which are the same as the rules for wearing face coverings on public transport.
Please see Welsh Government guidance on the use of face coverings.
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