Hospitality workers across Lancaster district urged to take a Covid test

Lancashire continues to see a sharp rise in the number of Covid-19 cases.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 3:58 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 4:00 pm
Hospitality workers across the Lancaster district are being urged to take a Covid test.

Cases in the county are especially prevalent among those aged 16-29 who work in the hospitality industry, partly due to the new variant being far more transmissible.

Some hospitality businesses have taken the decision to close for operational reasons due to staff needing to self-isolate following cases. Lancaster City Council is encouraging action to minimise the impact on businesses and to keep staff and communities safe.

The recent announcement by the government of a delay in the next stage of the roadmap confirms that caution is still needed and that Covid-19 still poses a serious threat to our communities.

Coun Tricia Heath, cabinet member with responsibility for economic recovery, said: “We’re asking anyone working in the hospitality industry to help themselves stay safe and protect their work colleagues by testing twice weekly using a rapid Lateral Flow Test.

“Our case rate has risen sharply and now is the time to act to bring the rate back down. I would urge everyone to make twice-weekly testing part of their routine so we can identify cases even when people have no symptoms.

"Ensuring testing takes place regularly and following the guidelines is the fastest and most effective way of getting back to a more normal life as soon as possible.”

If you work in the hospitality industry, here’s how you can play your part:

• Ask your employer about supplying LFT tests to all staff or pick up one up from your nearest pharmacy, Morecambe Town Hall or community hub. They can also be ordered by emailing [email protected]

• Self-isolate if you are identified as a close contact by your employer or by Test and Trace

• Get the vaccine when you’re eligible – and please get both doses so you are fully protected

Businesses can help their staff and customers stay safe and keep their doors open by:

• Asking staff at the beginning of a shift if they are feeling ok and free from Covid symptoms

• Making sure you follow sensible precautions such as Hands - Face – Space and encourage your colleagues to do the same

• Making sure customers and visitors are using the QR codes, or they have customers contact details, to speed up test and trace

• Reinforcing the Hands - Face – Space messaging and making sure any indoor areas are sufficiently ventilated

• Making sure face coverings are worn by staff and customers where required (unless exempt)

If you would like support about Covid-19 measures in your business contact [email protected]

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, Director of Public Health at Lancashire County Council, added: “Cases of Covid-19 and the Delta variant are rising across the North West and we are continuously monitoring its spread and severity to ensure we take rapid public health action.

“We encourage everyone without symptoms to order rapid (lateral flow) tests through gov.uk and take twice weekly, and report their results online.

"Testing and isolating limits spread, and for those who are positive on the rapid lateral flow test who then take the confirmatory PCR test, we can monitor how the variant behaves in the community which is vital to taking effective and proportionate action. Around one in three people with Covid-19 do not have symptoms but can still infect others.

“The way to limit the spread of all variants is the same: keep your distance, wash your hands regularly and thoroughly, cover your nose and mouth when inside, keep buildings well ventilated and meet people from other households outside if possible. Please take up the offer of the vaccine when invited.

“The vaccines are the most important tool we have against Covid-19. It is absolutely essential to get both doses as soon as they are offered to you, to gain maximum protection against all existing and emerging variants. Evidence shows that vaccines are highly effective against hospitalisation from the Delta variant."