Sunday 20 September, 2020

Restaurant staff have to adjust to new COVID-19 workplace rules

Sick restaurant employees cannot return to work when in-house dining restarts this week and must present doctor's certificates before resuming their roles.

Restaurant owners are not to take any risks with the health of their employees, though temperature checks are not mandatory.

Government has outlined the dos and don'ts for restaurant staff.

Day-to-day requirements

· Employees must wash hands with soap and water according to the handwashing protocol for 20 seconds at the commencement of work.

All persons entering the facility for the purposes of work must wash their hands.

· Employees must follow the principles of good hand hygiene throughout the food handling process.

· The taking of employee temperatures is discretionary. However, if temperatures are taken, any person with a temperature over 100.30 F or 38.00 C and above shall not be permitted in the workplace.

· Wherever possible, food handlers should wear face masks during working hours.

· Single-use masks must be discarded after each use. Cloth masks must be laundered at the end of each use. No mask must be worn for more than four hours at a time and should be changed if it becomes damp (disposable mask are preferable as their changing can be more easily regulated)

· Observe respiratory hygiene (cover your cough, sneeze and dispose of any tissue used) at all times and wash hands with soap and water.

· Train all employees on the importance of frequent hand washing, the use of hand sanitizers with at least 70 per cent alcohol content, and give them clear instruction to avoid touching hands to face.

· Ensure adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene practices for both employees and customers including soap, hand sanitizer (on every table, if supplies allow), paper towels, and tissues.

· If an employee is at high-risk for severe illness, consider assigning them duties that minimize their contact with customers and other employees. (e.g., managing inventory rather than working as a cashier)

COVID-19 alert

Staff are warned not to wait to develop symptoms if they come into contact with someone who later tests positive for COVID-19.

· Inform those who have had close contact to a person diagnosed with COVID-19 to stay home and self-monitor for symptoms. Follow the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ guidance if symptoms develop.

· Establish procedures for safely transporting anyone sick to their home or to a health care facility.

· Immediately notify the Ministry of Health and Wellness of any possible case of COVID-19.

Sick or symptomatic employees

· Employees who are sick should remain at home.

· Any employee experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath or loss of the sense of taste or smell must be excluded from the establishment immediately and sanitation operating procedures (SSOPs) need to be followed strictly. (Close off areas used by a sick person and do not use until the areas have been cleaned, sanitized and, in non-food contact areas, disinfected. If possible wait 24 hours to clean, sanitize and disinfect. If waiting 24 hours is not possible, wait as long as you can. Ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants and keep disinfectant products away from children.)

· An employee absent from work due to suspected COVID-19 symptoms Shall Not return to work unless certified by a Medical Officer of Health.

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